The new technology will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400 thousand tons per year. Waste heat will be able to heat up to 40 percent of houses in Helsinki.
Microsoft Corporation has announced the construction of a new information processing center in the Finnish capital. Its main feature will be the use of waste heat for heating homes and businesses.
With the development of technologies, the share of waste heat that occurs during the operation of information processing centers is growing. The temperature in the hot corridors of data centers ranges between 27.2 and 46.1 degrees Celsius. The most favorable conditions for the efficient operation of data centers are considered to be the temperature regime in the range between 20 and 21.6 degrees. The problem can be solved by reducing the amount of energy and efficiently removing and recirculating the resulting heat.
To achieve these goals, Microsoft will cooperate with the Finnish energy company Fortum.
The existing district heating infrastructure includes over 900 kilometers of underground pipes, which are used to heat 250 thousand houses in the Greater Helsinki area. Heat is transferred by pumping water through insulated pipes. As Fortum noted, the waste heat of the new Microsoft data center will be able to heat up to 40 percent of homes in the metropolitan areas of Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi.
In its statement, Fortum indicated that the location for the data center was not chosen by chance. A special location and a new technological approach will allow reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 400 thousand tons annually. The company’s CEO, Marcus Rauramo, stressed the importance of the project to achieve a “cleaner world”. He added that progress was achieved thanks to the common desire of companies to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The head of Microsoft’s Finnish communications department, Pekka Isosomppli, said that the construction of the data center will begin in the near future. Before starting work, companies need to obtain the appropriate permits. He did not disclose the exact value of the transaction, but noted that this is the largest investment for information and communication technologies in Finland.
The Finnish government promotes the Scandinavian state as the best place to host data centers. Favorable conditions are created due to the cold climate, relatively low energy prices, high connection speed and stable centralized heating infrastructure in the country.