The First ‘Climate Positive’ Datacenter

April 12, 2019

Driving down the carbon footprint of the datacenter sector is now a serious priority for most companies with large computing requirements, whether they be hyperscalers like Facebook and Google or colocation operators hosting a number of companies on their sites. The Greenpeace publications ‘Dirty Data’ and ‘Click Clean’ raised awareness amongst consumers about the significant amount of power required by datacenter industry and (depending on the power generation source) its consequent, large carbon footprint.

EcoDataCenter is situated in Falun, north of Stockholm (Sweden), in a high security compound adjacent to a wood pellet manufacturing plant. EcoDataCenter is by all means the world’s greenest datacenter. It is designed and built to not only run on ‘green’ energy, but also provide something extra: being ‘climate positive’.

The way it achieves this is by reusing the heat from the servers in the datacenter to power the heating systems in the district during the winter months. In doing so, there is no need for heat production with fossil fuels like gas and oil, that have high CO₂ emissions. This, combined with the foreseen CO₂ savings from wood pellets production, will exceed the total carbon dioxide emissions from the datacenter’s electricity consumption over a year.The net effect is a reduction of the total CO₂ emissions in the energy ecosystem: a significant result that makes EcoDataCenter the first CO₂ positive datacenter in the world.

In addition, electrical and cooling systems have been designed with the highest possible energy efficiency in mind. EcoDataCenter will have a PUE of 1.15 (and it could even be lower by adopting an Immersion Cooling solution): this is an outstanding achievement for a facility with the highest level of operational resilience where all critical infrastructure is duplicated to ensure no downtime and concurrent maintainability.

EcoDataCenter took a first step towards a future where, hopefully, datacenters will be highly efficient while reducing their carbon footprint and having a positive impact on the environment!

Jonathan Evans