Danish IT cooling with groundwater can become new export adventure

The amount of data at Interxion’s data centre grows, and the same goes for the needed amount of power and cooling. To create a more energy efficient cooling of their data centre, Interxion has installed a unique system developed in close collaboration with the consultancy firm Geo and the world’s largest pump manufacturer Grundfos. The solution is unique, because for the first time, it has been a success making a groundwater cooling system based on plug and play technology and can easily be integrated into remaining cooling systems. The solution was inaugurated Thursday May 7 by Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Mogens Jensen, who states:

“The new groundwater cooling system shows that in Denmark we are at the global forefront regarding sustainable and energy efficient solutions. Both data centres and cooling technology are sectors developing rapidly with a huge international growth potential. And I have no doubts that the innovative solution, which Geo, Grundfos and Interxion have created together, will pave the way for more international investments and even greater export of green, Danish technology.”

At Interxion, Managing Director, Peder Bank says:

“There is a lot of focus on energy consumption in data centres. Now, we are able to present a CO2 neutral cooling system, which can be used throughout the year, both when cooling is needed and for recycling heat for warming up buildings. We hope the solution can pave the way for a more intelligent utilisation of data centres’ heat production together with reducing the vast consumption of traditional compressor cooling in the hot summer months.

Possibly the next export adventure

Interxion’s groundwater cooling system is the first of its kind in the world, and it builds on, Grundfos’ experiences with remote cooling in the Netherlands. The solution has been developed together with the consultancy firm Geo, who are specialists in cooling and heating systems utilising water from the underground. The system is a plug and play solution that can be connected to existing automation and cooling systems at for instance hospitals and data centres.

“It has been important for us developing a standard solution, which can be reproduced and used by companies worldwide. Together with Grundfos, we have developed a concept that utilises the storage capacity of the underground and which can easily be connected to companies’ existing cooling systems”, Department Head of groundwater at Geo, Jesper Furdal states and continues:

“The new cooling system is the result of a unique partnership. Grundfos has the pumps and we have the necessary knowledge about groundwater and installations below ground, in order for us to launch this new product.

Director, Sales and Marketing, Steen Stephansen from Grundfos sees the close development process and dialogue with Geo during the whole project birth, as an essential reason for the project becoming a reality:

“A project of Interxion’s size takes a great deal of understanding in order to utilise each individual supplier’s expertise optimally. In the development phase, it has exactly been the close joint effort between Geo and Grundfos that has secured the project and which in its completed constellation serves as a great inspiration for future similar projects.

Geo and Grundfos foresee to export the technology internationally where production companies face the same challenges of a vast heat production and the need for reducing CO2 emissions. The development of Interxion’s system is supported by the Danish Ministry of the Environment through a specially established fund created in 2013, which is to promote the change from using fossil energy to the use of sustainable energy sources and district heating.

Protects Copenhagen’s drinking water

It is not just Interxion that will benefit from the new groundwater system. By agreement with the Capital Region of Denmark, the system will also act as a remediation system, preventing polluted water running into the great groundwater reservoirs, from which the capital collects its drinking water.

“We have made the deal with Ballerup municipality and the Capital Region of Denmark, which states that in case the surrounding pollution in the ground should reach the groundwater cooling system’s lime deposit, the Capital Region of Denmark can use the system as a remediation system. With that, the system will secure that the pollution will not reach the water used by Copenhageners for drinking”, Peder Bank explains.

Saves 308 tons of CO2

The new groundwater cooling system will provide energy savings of 1,233 Mwh when the system is fully operational. It is equivalent to savings of 308 tons of CO2 when purchasing traditional electricity.

“We save 1,233 Mwh – equivalent to 308 tons of CO2 in traditional electricity, but since we already only buy green electricity, we actually cannot save more CO2. Having said that, there are still further environmental winnings to collect for us, since the solution enables us to subsequently reuse the heat and warming up our buildings”, Peder Bank concludes.

The groundwater cooling system is designed so it is easily connected to the district heating plant in Ballerup municipality. Interxion already has experiences with this from Stockholm, where Interxion’s Swedish data centre passes on the returned heat for warming up 15,000 houses in a collaboration with the energy utility company Fortum.