Port Authority Supports Launch of Heat Capture Research and Development Center

First-of-its-kind facility will address common issues plaguing the data industry, including noise and waste heat.

Recently, the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority (SeOPA) co-hosted a ribbon cutting with SAI.TECH Global Corporation, a Singapore-based technology company, to announce the creation of a computing heat recycling center located along the State Route 7 industrial corridor in eastern Washington County. As the world continues to embrace artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, the demand for data centers is at an all-time high. Current data center operating methods are notorious for producing noise and creating waste heat. In some instances, as much as 40% of the energy consumed by a data center is subsequently released into the atmosphere via cooling fans (which produce a sound often compared to that of a jet engine). The new SAI.TECH facility will address both of these issues via new forms of technology and classic R&D methodologies. 

To reclaim otherwise wasted heat generated by their data center, SAI.TECH will initiate the heat capture and recycling research process using its proprietary equipment known as the TANKBOX and RACKBOX. Unlike large-scale production facilities that are air-cooled, the SAI.TECH facility features liquid-cooled technology, which eliminates the need for massive arrays of fans. This cuts down on the noise produced by the operation while allowing SAI.TECH to capture the heat energy that is typically wasted by other operations. Once the heat has been captured, SAI.TECH’s research team will explore the effective and economical reuse of this low-grade waste heat using opportunities such as greenhouses, poultry incubation, grain dryers, building heat, and more. This project will provide proof-of-concept from a new model of innovative, clean computing and it will allow SAI.TECH to partner with other industries to demonstrate more creative ways to reuse the waste heat generated by computing processes.

To date, SAI.TECH has partnered with more than a dozen local vendors and is committed to investing as much as $10 million into the facility, which could create more than 15 jobs over time. The research center is intended to be a global destination for anyone interested in heat capture and recycling applications.

This is an incredibly unique project intended to address many of the issues that currently plague the data and computing industry. SeOPA Executive Director Jesse Roush remarked that “this project merges industrial electricity, process technology, thermal management, and agriculture… which are things this community has done at a globally competitive level for generations, so this project is very much at home here in Marietta.” Once again Washington County has emerged as a global leader, this time in the form of cutting-edge, high-tech research and development.

About SeOPA

The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority (SeOPA) is the lead economic development agency in Washington County, Ohio. SeOPA works closely with local, state, and federal partners to support site and infrastructure development, business growth and attraction, and community development in a variety of ways. Since its creation in 2002, SeOPA has assisted with the creation and retention of 1,500+ jobs, secured $17+ million in grants, and provided mission-critical support for more than $280 million in public and private sector investment.