Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Energy Efficiency

Data Center Under Helsinki to Warm Residents Above

Helsinki is pioneering the worlds most advanced municipal heating system. A century ago, New York City put in an early form of this kind of district heating: the steam that gasps from ancient downtown loft radiators in the middle of winter nights is the remaining evidence.

But that was before the computer age. A new twist on district heating is being pioneered by Finland in its capital city, Helsinki.

Excess heat from hundreds of computer servers in a new underground data center will be captured and pumped to heat hundreds of homes and businesses throughout the city.

Like many European cities, (how do you think they achieved their 13% below 1990 levels of greenhouse gases) Helsinki already uses district heating so its residents don’t risk freezing to death in its minus 30 Centigrade winters.

Water is heated centrally at combined heat and power (CHP) plants that supply both electricity and heat, to heat water to 115 degrees C, and pipe it directly to tens of thousands of nearby apartments and public buildings.

But now, data centers comprise a new and growing opportunity for a lucrative new green business development there, as more and more data is stored and backed-up several times online. Globally,  greenhouse gas emissions from data centers powered by fossil fuels are rising by 10% a year.

With the rise of cloud computing, more energy is needed to cool data centers, and more heat created by them must be siphoned off. At this point, in the UK for example,  cloud computing now uses 3% of all the electricity generated in Britain.

Beginning this April, a pilot program will be fueled by waste heat generated by the Academica data center under the city. The data center will be cooled using seawater from the Baltic, which falls below 8C from November to May, with the excess heat pumped back into the city’s district heating system.

Image: Tuija

Source: Business Times

More susan/” target=”_blank”>Cleantechnica from Susan Kraemer: Journalists on <a href=”” target=”_blank

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

Decarbonizing data centers is a topic we’ve covered for many years. Just doing a quick search, I found several articles I wrote about data...

Clean Power

What is the future of data center decarbonization and sustainability at large in major companies? Recently CleanTechnica’s CEO, Zachary Shahan, hosted a chat with...

Clean Power

Join us next week for a live webinar! How much do you know about data center decarbonization? How about sustainability at large in major...


Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Iron Mountain Data Centers for its commitment to energy efficiency through DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge. Since joining the...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.