Copenhagen Data Center Owned By Interxion Utilizes Unique Cooling System

Interxion opened its newest facility in Copenhagen in May, and since then the Danish data center has been getting a lot of attention for the innovative way the company cools its IT infrastructure.

Because Denmark is a naturally cool region, Interxion took advantage of the climate and utilized free air cooling to reduce energy costs and improve data center sustainability. But the free air cooling is also being supplemented by a custom-made groundwater cooling system and it's earning praise from environmental activists and data center designers alike.

To cool the Copenhagen data center, two large chambers were dug 230 feet into the chalk substrate below the site. Naturally cooled water is pumped into chillers and then circulated, providing 1200 MW of cooling relief. Used water is then sent back down into the underground chambers where it is cooled down again by the surrounding chalk walls.  According to the cooling system's manufacturer, Grundfos, it is unlike any other groundwater cooling infrastructure in that it is built from plug-and-play components instead of one large piece. The system's creators believe that other sites sitting on top of similarly ideal geology would be able to easily replicate the cooling system.

Cost and environmental benefits meet
The system provides not only cost reductions for the Danish data center, but energy savings and the ability to reduce the company's carbon footprint. When fully operational, the system is expected to save 1.2 GWh each year, or 340 tons of carbon dioxide.

"There is a lot of focus on energy consumption in data centers," said Interxion managing director Peder Bank. "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 utilization of data centers' heat production, together with reducing the vast consumption of traditional compressor cooling in the hot summer months."

Use of groundwater cooling is not only beneficial to Interxion, but it also helps the surrounding city as well. According to Bob Lindstrom, director of product management for Interxion, the water used in the underground chambers is considered potable and is even flagged as a possible reserve supply for use by residents in case of an emergency.

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