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Datacentre wants to fight climate change on the side

Photos: Telecity's scientific sideline - arboretum heated like it's 2050
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By Tim Ferguson on
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1 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Photos: Telecity's scientific sideline - arboretum heated like it's 2050

This is Telecity's Condorcet datacentre, recently opened in Paris.

The datacentre is designed to be as energy efficient as possible and has a neat sideline in using waste energy to heat an arboretum for growing plants for scientific research into climate change.

Condorcet takes up 3,400 square metres of space and cost the company €48m to build. It's Telecity's third installation in Paris. Compared to a standard datacentre, Condorcet should reduce power consumption by 28 million kWh which equates to 2,500 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Photo credit: Telecity

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2 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The datacentre is powered by three sources to provide a steady power supply. As well as the mains power, the datacentre can also use its own power generators independent of the main grid and hydrogen fuel cells.

The red, green and blue poles shown above indicate the three different power supplies used in the datacentre. The colour coding is designed to help track down issues with power or data more quickly.

Photo credit: Telecity

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3 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The yellow and orange shelves that run along the top of the server units hold different low voltage power cables to allow for more flexible power distribution. The yellow shelf holds a fibre cable and the orange one, copper. The high voltage cables enter the datacentre from the floor.

Photo credit: Telecity

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4 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The waste heat energy from the datacentre is used to heat the climate change arboretum, which is built on site and designed to create climatic conditions similar to those predicted in France for 2050.

Photo credit: Telecity

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5 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Société Forestière and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research will use the facility to grow plants to carry out research to determine which species are best at adapting to changing climatic conditions and therefore will be useful in the future.

Photo credit: Telecity

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6 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

In terms of cooling, the datacentre makes use of ambient air around the facility, a process known as free cooling. Air going into the datacentre is cooled by water that has been chilled by ambient air, before being fed into the datacentre.

Photo credit: Telecity

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7 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The facility's lighting is even energy efficient with no incandescent or halogen bulbs used. The building containing the datacentre is also covered by soundproof roofing, which according to experts, means the acoustic impact of the site is zero.

Another datacentre provider, Telehouse, recently showed off its datacentre in London that uses its waste energy to heat homes in Canary Wharf.

Photo credit: Telecity

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