Innovation That Matters

Data center

Town gets its heat from a data center


A newly designed town in Norway will build a data center that provides heat to its surrounding buildings.

Here at Springwise, we have published other energy innovations including power plant that offers energy on demand and a new technology that transforms mine shafts into energy sources. Now, architects in Norway are building an energy-positive town Lyseparken that will get its heat from the town’s data center. The Lyseparken data center is the pilot in The Spark project by architecture company Snøhetta and is estimated to be live by 2021.

Data centers are traditionally large buildings that are located in remote areas because they occupy a lot of land. However new designs for smaller data centers are suitable for constructing in urban areas such as cities and towns. As well as enabling faster data transfer, urban data centers are an opportunity to make use of excess heat that these buildings produce.

Rune Veselgard, project manager at Snøhetta, said: “From being an enormous industrial building in a desolated desert using an unimaginable amount of energy, the data center of the future, the Spark is powering a small city or an entire neighborhood while being the preferred place for people to meet their friends, socialize or do sports.”

The Lyseparken data center will use a liquid cooling system rather than fans to keep the building’s servers cool. This will enable it to heat nearby buildings. Liquid cooling systems can transfer excess heat to a district heating system that the town’s buildings will connect to. The liquid loses heat while traveling through the system. Therefore the buildings which consume the most heat will be located closest to the data center. Moreover, once the liquid is cool enough it travels back to the data center and the process repeats itself.

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