This case study is part of a project catalogue produced by ReUseHeat to provide inspiration on how to utilize excess heat from urban sources for heating and cooling purposes. The catalogue contains 25 existing or planned projects out of which 12 cases are Danish and 13 cases are from other European countries.
A new heating system near Val d’Europe outside Paris aims to utilize excess heat from a local data centre. A new local district heating network with a total of 4 km distribution pipelines is to be constructed and heat nearby buildings.
The data centre is in the area Bailly-Romainvilliers, which is a new development zone under construction. A future business park is to be located next to a data centre. The data centre will operate 24 hours a day, all year around and to avoid overheating, and the servers are continually cooled using a refrigerator system. Excess heat from the server cooling is recovered and used in heating in nearby buildings. The project to utilize excess heat from the data centre is organized by Dalkia.
The system is composed of two heat exchangers connected to the heat recovery network. Further, a natural gas boiler is used to boost temperatures when needed and act as peak-load in periods of high heat demand. The heat exchangers are capable of providing district heating water temperatures between 48 and 55 degrees Celsius, corresponding to a total thermal capacity of 7.8 MW which can be extracted from the data centre. It is expected, that the data centre can provide 90% of the future heat requirements of connected buildings, which include both the current aquatic centre and the future business park. Hereby, an annual heating loss of 20,000 MWh is avoided and more than 4000 ton of CO2-equivalents are saved annually. The probability of the project being fully realized is boosted by this sustainable energy recovery. Through this, overall heat costs are reduced, and the heat prices are further benefited from a reduced VAT.
The total project is estimated to cost € 3.46 M, of which the project receives aide from ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, of € 1.0 M. The overall project is a decentralized alternative to urban district heating networks with no investment risks to be borne by public actors. The energy recovery is both green and sustainable as it benefits from a local energy source, accordingly reducing the environmental impact. As the data centre operates all year round, the heat prices are low and are expected to be relatively stable.