Interxion Deploys €15M Eco-Responsible River Cooling Solution

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At its Marseille data center campus in France, Interxion has deployed a €15 million ‘River Cooling’ solution that would be up to 30 times more energy efficient than traditional cooling systems. Interxion claims that it will result in savings of up to 18,400 Megawatt hour (MWh) annually, while simultaneously mitigating the emission of 795 tons of CO2, the equivalent of 5,560 trees planted each year.

Interxion, a Digital Realty company, says the cooling solution will also contribute to a large increase in the power use effectiveness (PUE) of Interxion’s data centers in the port of Marseille, which will no longer rely on electric chillers. If the new solution is up and running, Interxion’s Marseille-based colocation data centers might achieve a PUE of 1.2, cementing the company’s position as one of France’s most energy efficient data center operators.

Interxion, Dalkia Smart Building, and EDF Group created the solution, which was implemented with the cooperation of four major companies: Cap Ingelec, Largier Technologies, Schneider Electric, and Victaulic.

“In addition to seeking local resources for cooling our data centers, we are systematically studying the availability of the calories emitted by our data centers for district heating purposes,” said Linda Lescuyer, Energy Director at Interxion France. “River cooling is therefore a successful example of innovation and circular integration in its territory. As a result, this project has received technical and financial support from Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and the South Region, who we would like to thank.”

Underground Network and Pumping Station

Photo Linda Lescuyer, Energy Director at Interxion France
“In addition to seeking local resources for cooling our data centers, we are systematically studying the availability of the calories emitted by our data centers for district heating purposes,” said Linda Lescuyer, Energy Director at Interxion France.

The River Cooling system, which took two and a half years to construct and involves almost three kilometers of hidden networks and 27 heat exchangers, works by redirecting underground water from ‘La Galerie de la Me,’ a disused industrial site from the late 1800s. The structure gathers and directs rainwater that leaks into the Grand Port Maritime de Marseille from the former Gardanne mines.

The water, which is kept at 15°C all year, is transported through an underground network and pumping station near the Interxion colocation data centers and then utilized to cool them via thermal exchange. Near the Interxion data centers, there is a network and pumping station that is used to cool them through thermal exchange.

Interxion’s River Cooling system, which was developed with a circular economy in mind, will eventually be utilized to serve the Euromediterranée urban heating network and fulfill the demands of 500,000sqm of workplaces and houses.

“The River Cooling solution reflects our strong desire to support the development of the digital economy while minimizing the impact of our data centers on the environment,” said Fabrice Coquio, Managing Director at Interxion France. “How do we do this? By providing the eco-responsible data centers that our customers, investors, employees and citizens expect. This innovation provides our customers with a solution that is 30 times more energy efficient than traditional cooling systems, enabling them to reduce the carbon footprint of their data centers at Interxion and meet their CSR objectives.”

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