Yandex Data Centres To Supply Hot Water To Finnish City

The city of Mäntsälä looks to reduce C02 emissions by up to 40 percent by heating its water with Russian data centres

A city in Finland is set to halve its gas consumption and reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent by heating its water supply from data centres.

Data centres in the city in southern Finland, run by Russian search giant Yandex, will use their excess heat output to warm the district’s water in an initiative funded by Finnish energy company Mäntsälän Sähkö OY.

The move is the latest in a series of experiments by Nordic data centre and energy firms to put the waste heat from data centres to good use.

Cut costs

data centreThe eco project is expected to slash heating costs for residents in the city by five percent over the next 12 months, and should cut utility providers’ gas consumption in half.

According to Mäntsälän Sähkö OY, the project will help meet the EU target set for emission reductions in 2030. The collaboration with the city also allows Yandex to cut expenditure on its data centres’ current electricity consumption by as much as a third.

“We wanted to make full use of the excess energies we produce in order to benefit the community. For us it is important to give back to the community we work among,” says Ari Kurvi, data centre manager at Yandex.

Water will be fed from the city’s supply system into heat exchangers at the data centre, where ventilators pump in hot air generated by the servers.

The hot air will then heat the water to 30-45 degrees centigrade, which is then sent to the heat recovery plant which boosts the temperature to the required level of 55-60 degrees. Once this process is complete, says Yandex, the water is transmitted back into the city network.

Jane Zavalashina, CEO of Yandex Data Factory, the machine learning and big data analytics division of Yandex that will be using the data centres for European projects, said: “Yandex Data Factory’s ethos is built around identifying efficiencies, and this is a solid reflection of that. The future of successful business depends on the intelligent exploitation of data, which inherently requires an increased dependence on datacentres. This being the case, we have to be conscious of the environmental impact of our infrastructure.”

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