Helsinki gets hot for servers…

We can all agree that this winter has been particularly bad, unless you were clever and took a day or two off for fear of slipping, like the guy on RTE News or just enjoy making snowmen.

However the people of Helsinki are getting ready to feel a little bit warmer after the coldest winter in 30 years, all thanks to a few servers in a bomb shelter.

Juha Siplia the project manager with Helsingin Energia said;

“This will be the greenest and most energy-efficient data centre in the world”.

Underneath the Uspenski Cathedral, hidden away in a former bomb shelter lies one of the worlds most high tech central heating systems. The excess heat from hundreds of computer servers in the data centre will be captured and distributed across the Finnish capital.

The system will use seawater from the Baltic to cool the data centre, with the remaining heat being put to good use by heating homes, businesses and the city of Helsinki in general. Not to mention creating a clever solution to one of the worlds fastest growing global warming concerns.

frozen helsinki to get warmer

Soon to be thawed by the power of millions of surfers...

Only about 40% of the energy used by a standard data centre goes into the actual computing, with the rest going towards cooling the hot, constantly running servers, which take up large chunks of countries energy generation (up to 3% in the UK).

Currently the internet’s carbon footprint is growing at 10% every year as millions more users connect from developing countries, creating requirements for larger server farms, and as a result the internet is currently making up 2% of global CO2 emissions. Which is pretty big!

Finland’s plan will offer the perfect, and low-carbon answer to this growing problem and Google have already announced plans to open their newest server farm in Finland in the hopes of cutting their own footprint.

So next time you hit refresh, just think of all the homes or sauna’s in Helsinki you might be heating!


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