Unprecedented data centre surplus heat recovery to fuel district heat network


Tina Kramer Kristensen

Global Spearhead Director, Energy Systems
T: +45 51618184

A Ramboll-designed energy centre is redistributing surplus heat from Facebook's data centre in Odense to the city’s district heating network.

Ramboll served as designer and technical consultant to Fjernvarme Fyn, Denmark’s third-largest district heating company, on the design and construction of a heat pump installation that redistributes energy from the adjacent Tietgenbyen data centre to the district heating network of the city of Odense. The project provides heat to more than 7,000 homes, reduces the city’s reliance on coal power, and supports Fjernvarme Fyn’s goal of providing 100% renewable energy by 2030.

A water-based above- and below-ground piping circuit transfers surplus heat from heat exchangers in the data centre to the heat pump installation. There, large electrical-driven ammonia heat pumps raise the heat temperature to 70-75°C, suitable for the city’s district heating network. Distribution pumps supply the recovered heat to the network.

Experts from Ramboll’s Energy and Buildings markets designed the heat pump installation and energy centre, handled related tender processes, and managed construction and building contract work. The heat pump installation is the largest to date in Denmark and recovers surplus data centre heat on an unprecedented scale. A full-scale visitor centre is displaying the ground-breaking technology applied.

Large data centres are on the rise, especially in Denmark, where Apple, Facebook and Google are planning and constructing centres. Redistribution of waste heat from these centres to district energy systems plays a vital role in the transition to a sustainable energy supply.


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