With its energy recycling program, this French data center could be a pioneer in its field


March 20, 2024 at 8:01 a.m.


The usable roof area of ​​a data center, such as that of Microsoft in the Netherlands, is impressive © Aerovista Luchtfotografie

The usable roof area of ​​a data center, such as that of Microsoft in the Netherlands, is impressive © Aerovista Luchtfotografie

At the forefront of environmental innovation, Paris-Saclay University and Data4 are collaborating to create the world’s first biocircular data center.

They are known to be polluting and greedy. Data centers are precious to us, but harmful to the environment despite some more virtuous exceptions. It is in a context of ecological transition and energy crisis that a partnership established between a university and a French data center manufacturer is innovating by creating the world’s first biocircular data center.

This collaboration aims to capture and then exploit the heat emitted by data centers to promote the growth of algae, which act as carbon sinks by capturing CO2 cleared. “ Faced with the exponential growth of digital technology and the number of data stored in data centers (+ 35%/year worldwide), the environmental efforts of players in the sector must meet the challenges. », Specifies the press release from the Data4 group.

If the principle is not new, like the swimming pools in the United Kingdom heated by data centers, themselves cooled by the water from these swimming pools, it is indeed an innovation in terms of recycling of French energy.

Harnessing the power of algae to fight climate change

Algae, often underestimated in their capacity to capture carbon, become the protagonists of this innovative enterprise. Indeed, data centers, often criticized for their carbon footprint, will become engines of green growth by providing the heat necessary for growing algae. This symbiosis between data center technology and marine biology opens new perspectives in the fight against climate change.

Thanks to a feasibility study carried out with the start-up Blue Planet Ecosystems, as part of the ABIOMAS chair supported by the Paris-Saclay University Foundation, we were able to calculate the efficiency of this carbon capture which can be 20 times greater than that of a tree (with equivalent surface area) », explains Patrick Duvaut, Vice-President of Paris-Saclay University and President of the Paris-Saclay Foundation.

The benefits of this approach go beyond simply reducing carbon emissions. Indeed, algae, in addition to capturing CO2, produce oxygen and can be recycled into biomass for various applications, thus offering a complete and circular life cycle.

A virtuous data center project © Data4 Group (screenshot)

A virtuous data center project © Data4 Group (screenshot)

Interdisciplinary collaboration to shape the sustainable future of information technology

This ambitious project is the result of close collaboration between various scientific and academic disciplines. Experts in biomass, researchers in physics, chemistry and economics, including specialists in artificial intelligence, are concerned and come together as a multidisciplinary team to push the frontiers of environmental innovation.

This augmented biomass project responds to two major challenges of our time: food security and the energy transition. This requires close collaboration between all stakeholders in the Essonne region, of which Data4 is a part, to develop a real industrial ecology project, aimed at pooling resources and reducing the territory’s consumption. Thanks to this partnership with the Paris Saclay University Foundation, we have the opportunity to rely on one of the most prestigious scientific communities in the world with a common objective of a circular energy economy. », adds Linda Lescuyer, Innovation Manager, Data4.

The integration of knowledge from prestigious institutions such as CentraleSupélec, AgroParisTech, INRAE ​​and Université Paris-Saclay guarantees a holistic and informed approach. This collaboration demonstrates the need and power of interdisciplinary partnerships to solve the complex challenges of our time, while paving the way for a new era of sustainable development in the information technology sector.

A pretty green circle.

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Source : Data4 Group

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