Castellum will install some six heat pumps at the Valtatie 30 property to cool Nokia R&D vLab’s data centers. The excess heat generated from cooling the data centers will be injected into Tampereen Sähkölaitos’ district heating network as renewable energy. The network provides heat to 6000 properties or 250,000 residents.
The six new heat pumps are expected to produce 50GWh of sustainable heat per annum as from 2022. The pumps will heat water to the 95-degree temperature suitable for district heating, the water is then transferred to the main network and from there onwards to serve the needs of customers.
Pekka Leinonen, the head of B2B Sales & Customer Relationship at Tampereen Sähkölaitos, said: “That is about 2.5 percent of our heat requirements. The excess heat from the data center will be able to heat 50 apartment buildings per year, that’s a significant heat source for the district heating network.”
The project falls under efforts to leverage heat pumps to help Valtatie 30, and Finland at large, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Jussi Alpua, sales manager at Oilon, added that an increasing number of energy companies in Europe are employing heat pumps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels to produce heat whilst expanding renewables’ role. Today, 35% of Finland’s district heating systems uses fossil fuels, according to the statement.
Alpua, added: “Data centers provide the perfect environment for heat recovery for the district heating network due to the fact that the excess heat has a high temperature and is available year-round.”
“In the near future, we have to be able to utilize excess heat more efficiently. Heat pumps are an efficient solution because they can produce heat much more efficiently when compared to direct electric heating.”
The announcement comes as Europe is struggling with producing heat in a cost-effective manner following soaring energy prices due to inadequate gas, the retirement of nuclear energy, as well as a lack of renewable baseload power. As such, heat recovery will provide the bloc with a sustainable and cost-effective way to meet the growing demand for heat whilst ensuring energy sustainability, according to Oilon.