Aalborg Forsyning wins deal for Asetek’s mini data centres surplus heat

Date: 26 February 2020

Aalborg Forsyning is already receiving a good portion of surplus heat from cement production at Aalborg Portland and is constantly looking for even more at several of Aalborg’s other large companies.

Now the company has made another deal with the technology company Asetek, who’s surplus heat from the company’s mini data centre on Assensvej in Aalborg East will in future be sent directly into the Aalborg district heating network. Although the agreement between Aalborg Forsyning and Asetek A/S is not in itself large, it is ground-breaking and extremely perspective-rich in several respects.

The alternative Liquid Cooling technology developed by Asetek has resulted in the waste heat from the company’s data centre being delivered directly to the district heating network at a full 60 degrees – without an additional investment in external heat pumps.

– From a district heating angle, it is extremely interesting that it has technically proven to be profitable to acquire waste heat from a data centre for a clear connection cost. This is extremely interesting, because we at Asetek hereby document that expensive external heat pumps are not actually necessary. The high temperature of waste heat from Aseteks’ data centre makes it particularly interesting as an alternative to fossil fuels in particular, both when it comes to price and the environment, says the founder and CEO of Asetek A/S, André Sloth Eriksen.

Professor: A breakthrough
At Aalborg University, one of the country’s foremost experts in energy planning, Professor Henrik Lund, follows the initiative with great interest. It supports his own research program that explores the possibilities of collaboration between district heating networks and data centres.

– It is crucial that in Denmark we include the upcoming data centres in the green transition in an energy efficient way. The utilization of waste heat from the data centres to district heating is very central and, in this connection, Aseteks’ technology is particularly interesting. I would call it an international breakthrough that demonstrates how a water-cooled server can be connected directly to a district heating supply. A wider spread of this and similar energy-efficient technologies requires collaboration between the data centre and district heating industries. As a university, we would like to be at the forefront here, says Professor Henrik Lund.

Aalborg Mayor:
Aalborg Mayor Thomas Kastrup-Larsen sees good prospects for the country’s third largest municipality in district heating cooperation with Asetek and looks forward to cutting the string at the inauguration.

– In Aalborg we try to behave as green as possible and think in a circular way. At the same time, it could be interesting in the future to house a real full-scale data centre with water cooling technology like Aseteks. As a visionary green test centre area, we would like to explore the possibilities of how cooperation can take place, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

The connection to Aalborg’s district heating network, which will be inaugurated and opened on Monday, Feb. 3, is projected by Cowi and has been made in partnership with Logstor.