Wastewater specialist Tomorrow Water has teamed with its Korean compatriots Samsung, Dohwa, and BNZ to develop data centers integrated with sewage infrastructure.
Tomorrow Water, a subsidiary of BKT, has proposed placing data centers at sewage plants, where they can benefit from locally created bio-fuel, and their waste heat can assist the water treatment process. In the new partnership, Samsung, Dohwa Engineering, and BNZ Partners will co-develop an architecture that combines data centers with water treatment facilities.
Tomorrow Water says its Proteus biofiltration water treatment process can reduce the footprint of water treatment plants by replacing sedimentation tanks. Beginning in 2018, the company's flagship project, the Jungnang Water Recycling Center in Seoul, BKT reduced the plant's size by 60 percent and the reclaimed land was turned into a park and community asset.
Now, under the brand "Co-Flow", Tomorrow suggests data centers be built on the same site as wastewater plants, so synergies between their energy and water streams can be linked to improve their economics and sustainability.
Since biofiltration removes the need for large sedimentation tanks, Tomorrow now says that the water treatment plant can be built underground, with the data center above it on the surface, reducing footprint still further.
Land use is a key factor for Edge data centers which have to be built close to people and data sources, and so will very likely need to be in urban areas.
The Korean partnership comes soon after a US partnership with design consultancy Arcadis, announced in January. Arcadis will evaluate the process and develop the first US Co-Flow projects.