Amsterdam Data Centre Cooled By Groundwater

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Dutch data centre uses the seasons to cool its servers and increase energy efficiency

A new data centre in Amsterdam is using naturally stored groundwater to cool its servers, greatly improving energy efficiency.

Telecity Group has installed an Aquifier Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system at its Southeastern AMS5 data centre, which the company says takes advantage of Amsterdam’s “unique natural geograghy”.

Cool storage

ATES works by storing water in underground wells, where it is warmed by heat from the data centre and then cooled by the lower external temperature in winter. This is then used in the summer as part of the cooling process. Telecity claims that the technology has never been used in such a large scale project before.

The first phase of the data centre opened earlier this year and once completed will provide 6,000 square metres of customer floor space and nine megawatts of customer capacity. Telecity says that the facility is a “highly-connected digital ecosystem” that provides an “unrivaled choice” of international and local fixed line, broadband and mobile networks, content distribution networks, trading platforms and cloud hubs.

“While ATES systems are used widely across the Netherlands, the technology has never been rolled out before on such a large data centre project,” said Alexandra Schless, Managing Director, TelecityGroup Netherlands. “TelecityGroup is dedicated to driving innovation in the industry and maximising the energy efficiency of our operations by developing solutions that complement regional conditions. The efficiency and resilience of the ATES system is a great example of this innovation and we’re delighted be able to introduce it on such a significant scale.”

A number of data centres employ similarly innovative and energy efficient technologies to cool their servers. Google’s data centre in Douglas County, Georgia uses water from the toilets and bathtubs of the surrounding communities to help cool servers inside the facility, while Facebook’s data centre in northern Sweden makes use of the cold climate.

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