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Facebook hooks up Odense data centre to local district heating system

Written by Thu 9 Jul 2020

Hyperscale facility in Denmark could warm around 6,900 local homes

A Facebook hyperscale data centre in Odense has begun heating local homes using heat recovered from its servers.

In a blog post, Lauren Edelman, Facebook’s energy program manager, said the social media giant plans to donate 100,000 MWh of energy to the community using low-temperature heat generated by the facility’s systems.

While other projects in Denmark use recaptured heat from smaller structures such as supermarkets for extremely localised heat recapturing, Facebook’s 50,000 square-metre facility will scale production to up to 25MW of heat.

Facebook said the data centre will reduce Odense’s demand for coal by up to 25 percent.

Odense

Facebook’s Odense data centre went operational in September last year and is powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

The facility was located and designed with the aim of connecting to the city’s district heating system, which sends hot water to homes and other buildings in Denmark’s third-largest city.

A team of Facebook engineers, architects, designers and facility operators worked with the system’s operators, Fjernvarme Fyn, on a copper-coil based design to capture and recover heat generated by the data centre.

They designed a brand-new heat pump facility which routes water through insulated steel pipes to the data centre roof, where it’s directed into copper coils located inside 176 cooling units.

The warm air from the servers heats up the water that flows through the coils before being pumped back into Fjernvarme Fyn’s heat pump facility where it is heated further and distributed to radiators throughout the community.

A glass wall will allow visitors such as schoolchildren and energy engineers view the system in action.

“It’s amazing because every time we post pictures of our pets, family, and whatever on Facebook, it will produce heat that will heat up to almost 7,000 houses,” Odense Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel said.

“That is a good, green, side effect of building the data centre in Odense.”

“I think that the data centre in Odense will be a model for a lot of data centres around the world.”

Written by Thu 9 Jul 2020

Tags:

energy heat power sustainability
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