Helsinki to be Heated By An Underground Data Center

November 30, 2009 / No Comments

417px UspenskiAtNight 270x388 Helsinki to be Heated By An Underground Data Center

A city-run power firm in Helsinki, Finland, have come up with an idea that may turn out to be the most environmentally-friendly data center in the world. The data center, situated right underneath the Uspenski Cathedral, will use hundreds of computers for its needs, which will in turn generate great amounts of heat. The idea is for that heat to be utilized and channeled into the city’s main heating system.

According to the project’s manager, Juha Sipila, it’s a perfectly valid prediction that a large part of the city’s heating needs will be eventually met by data centers.

Data centers have been generally controversial as they tend to use a lot of power. As an extreme example, Google’s data centers use about 1% of the world’s total energy production. To add to the negativity, only about half of the power consumed actually goes into calculations – the rest is needed to cool the computers as they heat up.

The upcoming data center in Helsinki has the benefit of using only about half the power a normal one of its size does – and with its output, it will provide heat for about 500 large residential houses, according to experts.

[ Via CNET ]