Addressing Data Center Cooling Needs through the Use of Subsurface Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Y. Zhang, Diana Acero-Allard, T. Atkinson, Koenraad Beckers, P. Dobson, W. Jin, N. Lei, Hyunjun Oh, P. Peng, D. Sartor, David Sickinger

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of addressing the cooling needs for information technology (IT) equipment in data centers by using reservoir thermal energy storage (RTES) to provide reliable and sustainable low-temperature fluid. This project focuses on the technical viability of operating such a system in Houston, Texas, which is a representative location for crypto mining data centers. An analysis has been performed to investigate the technical feasibility with climate data for Houston. Results show that data centers on the scale of 30 MW, and operating at a temperature of 27°C, can be reliably cooled by a combined RTES and dry coolers setup. A techno-economic analysis will be performed and energy/water saving benefits will be quantified in the future. In addition, the study will be extended to other representative data center locations with different climates and geographical locations.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 SPE Energy Transition Symposium, ETS 2023 - Houston, United States
Duration: 22 Aug 202323 Aug 2023


Conference2023 SPE Energy Transition Symposium, ETS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 2023, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-87821

Other Report Number

  • Paper No. SPE-215746-MS


  • cooling
  • crypto mining data centers
  • data centers
  • Houston
  • information technology equipment
  • reservoir thermal energy storage
  • techno-economic analysis


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