Heat from Microsoft’s data center is used to heat houses in Finland

(ORDO NEWS) — The new technology will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400 thousand tons per year. Waste heat could 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.

As technology advances, so does the share of waste heat generated during data center operations. The temperature in the hot aisles of data centers ranges between 27.2 and 46.1 degrees Celsius.

The most favorable conditions for the efficient operation of data processing centers are considered to be between 20 and 21.6 degrees. The problem can be solved by reducing the amount of energy and efficiently removing and recycling 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 that heat 250,000 homes in the Greater Helsinki area.

Heat is transferred by pumping water through insulated pipes. Waste heat from Microsoft’s new data center will be able to heat up to 40 percent of homes in the Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi metropolitan areas, Fortum noted.

Fortum said in a statement that the location for the data center was not chosen by chance. A special location and a new technological approach will allow to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tons annually.

The company’s CEO Markus Rauramo stressed the importance of the project in achieving a “cleaner world”. He added that progress was made possible thanks to the common desire of companies to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Pekka Isosomppli, head of the Finnish communications department at Microsoft, 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 deal, but noted that it is the largest investment for information and communication technologies in Finland.

The Finnish government is promoting the Scandinavian state as the best place to host data centers. Favorable conditions are created by a cold climate, relatively low energy prices, high connection speeds and a sustainable district heating infrastructure in the country.


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