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Helsinki to recycle excess heat from data center

Helsinki public utility Helsingin Energia next month will open a new data center that will recycle heat from the servers to help generate energy and deliver hot water for the Finnish capital city.

The recycled heat from the data center, built by Helsinki IT services company Academica Oy, could add about 1% to the total amount of energy generated by Helsingin Energia, according to Juha Sipilä, the utility's project manager.

The data center is connected to Helsingin Energia's district heating system, which pumps hot water through a network of pipes to commercial buildings and residences in Helsinki, as well as to the utility's district cooling system, which brings in cold seawater.

In the innovative system, cold water is pumped through pipes in the data center to cool off the computer equipment. The water, now warmer, flows to a pump that further heats the liquid and sends it into the district heating system.

The system will generate enough energy to heat the equivalent of 500 large houses, while the data center will benefit from much lower cooling costs, officials said.

The data center is located in a former World War II bomb shelter carved into the bedrock under Helsinki's Uspenski Cathedral.

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