Unprecedented data centre surplus heat recovery to fuel district heat network

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Tina Kramer Kristensen

Tina Kramer Kristensen

Global Spearhead Director, Energy Systems
T: +45 51618184

A Ramboll-designed energy centre will redistribute surplus heat from Facebook's data centre in Odense to the city’s district heating network.

Ramboll served as designer and technical consultant to Fjernvarme Fyn, Denmark’s third-largest district heating company, on the design and construction of a heat pump installation that will redistribute energy from the adjacent Tietgenbyen data centre to the district heating network of the city of Odense. The project will ultimately heat more than 7,000 homes, reduce the city’s reliance on coal power, and support Fjernvarme Fyn’s goal of providing 100% renewable energy by 2030.

A water-based above- and below-ground piping circuit will transfer surplus heat from heat exchangers in the data centre to the heat pump installation. There, large electrical-driven ammonia heat pumps will raise the heat temperature to 70-75°C, suitable for the city’s district heating network. Distribution pumps will supply the recovered heat to the network.

Experts from Ramboll’s Energy and Buildings markets designed the heat pump installation and energy centre, handled related tender processes, and managed construction and building contract work. When in operation in 2020, the heat pump installation will be the largest to date in Denmark and recover surplus data centre heat on an unprecedented scale. A full-scale visitor centre will display the ground-breaking technology applied.

Large data centres are on the rise, especially in Denmark, where Apple, Facebook and Google are planning and constructing centres. Redistribution of waste heat from these centres to district energy systems plays a vital role in the transition to a sustainable energy supply.

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