Cooling a data centre is an energy-consuming task, which is continuously growing, due to the day-by-day increase in data traffic. Up until now, the cooling has primarily consisted of traditional cooling systems, which consume enormous amounts of energy. At Interxion’s Danish branch in Ballerup near Copenhagen, they are certain that a better, smarter and less expensive solution exists – and above all - one that is far more sustainable. However, sustainability alone is not enough. Alternative solutions must also meet the required demands, when you, as Interxion does, offer market-leading data centres with a reliability, surpassing the industry standards.
Safe, invisible and noiseless cooling
In cooperation with Interxion, Geo has investigated the underground at Interxion, and has designed a groundwater cooling system to replace the traditional cooling systems. This groundwater cooling system is not only invisible, but also completely silent. A system, which, summer and winter, is able to deliver the sufficient cooling in order to ensure lightning fast data-connections and at the same time reduce the energy consumption significantly.
Two 70 m deep wells provide groundwater to cool the data centre 24/7, which means that Interxion can avoid using an additional 1233 MWh – equiva-lent to the annual energy con-sumption of 200 family homes.
Did you know that the groundwater cooling system at Interxion has a secondary task, besides cooling the data centre? The system can also function as a remediation facility, in case contamination should get into the groundwater aquifer.
Did you know that the groundwater reservoir is kept in thermal balance? Cold water at approximately 10 degrees Celsius is extracted from a 70-meter deep well, circulated through the system and reinfiltrated into the aquifer. From October to March, the process is reversed, in order to build up a cold storage for the following summer. This process ensures a constant thermal balance in the groundwater reservoir.
Less than 50 groundwater-cooling systems exist in Denmark. In comparison, 2000 systems exist in the Netherlands.
Geo and Grundfos have collaborated to develop a unique plug and play solution for Interxion’s groundwater-cooling system. It is the very first of its kind and the new standard will form the basis for future turn-key systems delivered by Geo.
Geo’s first task as adviser and turn-key supplier to Interxion, was to ensure the proper permissions from the authorities and thereby secure a successful project launch, as well as involving all parties at an early stage. The municipality of Ballerup, Ballerup Utility Company and the Capital Region of Denmark were involved to ensure the project the highest quality, expertise and safety. Geo prepared the necessary applications for the initial test well, test pumping, geophysical logging and an environmental risk assessment, due to the knowledge of contaminations in the area.
During the process, Geo’s environmental experts became involved, because one contamination turned out to be far worse than originally anticipated. Based on extensive risk assessments and 3D modelling of the underground, it became clear that the groundwater cooling system would not affect the contamination negatively. On the contrary, the system would help stop the natural diffusion to the groundwater reservoirs.
After establishing the test well, pumping tests were carried out. The tests document that the underground as anticipated can deliver the necessary volumes of groundwater to cool the data centre. The groundwater passes through a closed circuit and is recycled back into the groundwater aquifer. Not a single drop of water is wasted in the process, as the groundwater is kept completely separated from the surroundings. The closed circuit ensures that the water will continue to be suitable for drinking.