none
none

WORLD'S FIRST CARBON-NEGATIVE DATA CENTRE

08-04-2015
by 
in 

A team of Swedish entrepreneurs have partnered with a local energy company to build a revolutionary data centre that runs entirely on a mix of solar, wind, and hydro power, plus wood chip and sawdust waste.

And not only does it take no power from the grid or fossil fuels, it also gives back - converting the heat generated by all those hard-working servers into energy to warm nearby homes.

Construction begins next year, and the facility will be located in the town of Falun, just north of Stockholm. "We are able to reuse all of the energy, all year long," one of the team, Jan Fahlén, from local energy company Falu Power and Water, told Adele Peters at Fast Company.

And because cooling the servers down can account for as much as half a data centre’s energy needs, the building has been designed to convert this heat energy into a cooling system.

According to a recent report data centres currently consume 1.5 to 2 percent of all global electricity, and this is growing at a rate of 12 percent a year.

The situation is so bad, the owners of some of the biggest data centres in the world, Google and Facebook, are being pressured to up their renewable game, and even the US Ministry of Defence has declared war on data centre emissions.

But, so far, no one has come up with a plan as potentially awesome as Sweden's so-called EcoDataCentre.

In a sense, it’s more than just carbon-negative, because it doesn’t just avoid partaking in fossil fuel-guzzling, it helps other facilities cut back on their guzzling activities too. 

"As the servers run, they generate heat that would normally be wasted," says Peter at Fast Company.

"The heat is hooked up to the town's district heating system, sending hot water to warm up local homes in the winter. In the summer, the system can supply district cooling, running air conditioning that would otherwise use electricity."

"This allows us to offer lower costs for our customers, even though it is a high-performance data centre," Fahlén told her, adding that it will be up to 25 percent cheaper to run than similar top-level data centres. 

While the task of hooking this data centre up to the local grid will be relatively easy - it’s going to be built right next to an existing power plant – it would be amazing if technology companies in other parts of the world could figure out how to follow suit.

One thing’s for sure, we’re not going to slow down on our data requirements any time soon, so we need to figure out how to make it less awful for the environment, and ultimately for ourselves. 

Related news & editorials

  1. 21.11.2017
    21.11.2017
    by      In
    Darcy Ewing of Kurrupt Kustoms in Albury NSW was running compressed air from a 6-year-old reciprocating piston-style compressor when (in his own words) it virtually “S*** itself!”.
    This left his high-end auto body and customisation shop in real trouble with a total shutdown of all essential... Read More
  2. 21.11.2017
    21.11.2017
    by      In
    If the recent upheavals in Australian manufacturing illustrate one truth, it is the absolute necessity for forward planning, and more to the point, the importance of planning for growth – regardless of a company’s existing size.
    While the ambition to grow a manufacturing operation is one thing,... Read More
  3. 21.11.2017
    21.11.2017
    by      In
    Blockchain technology was invented to make the world’s first crypto-currency, Bitcoin, possible. Traditional currencies rely on intermediaries like governments, banks and clearing houses to guarantee their value and process transactions. Bitcoin uses digital technologies to cut out these middlemen... Read More
  4. 21.11.2017
    21.11.2017
    by      In
    Australian Tank Engineering (ATE Tankers) has been engineering and manufacturing tankers in Australia for nearly two decades. But whereas most vehicle manufacturers have seen sales decline in recent years, ATE has elevated itself through the trend with a transformative mindset that has enabled the... Read More