Data volumes are increasing worldwide, while at the same time natural resources are increasingly becoming limited. Alternative cleaner energy generation sources therefore need to be factored into how we operate as a purpose-led business, in order to counter the impacts of climate change as a sector. As a data center operator, we want to make a contribution: by 2030, we plan to operate our data centers in Europe in a climate-neutral way, meaning that we’re committing to 100% of our energy consumption being powered through renewable energy. This is an ambitious goal that we’ve set ourselves as part of an alliance with other data center operators and associations all committing to the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact. Important parts of the road to climate neutrality are innovation, creativity and technology. Our data center in Bavaria shows how these three factors combine to create sustainable solutions for the good of its clients, local communities and the planet.

Munich 2 sets environmental standards

When we talk about a location advantage, we usually refer to the favorable location of our data center in terms of infrastructure and proximity to clients. These are also key arguments at our Munich 2 site in Unterschleissheim. But this data center also scores points in terms of environmental technology:

  • Groundwater cooling
    Geological tests carried out before the construction of the data center showed that there is a sufficiently powerful and cold groundwater flow at the Munich 2 Data Center site, due to its proximity to the Alps. Together with experts and authorities, we developed a concept to use this for energy efficient cooling of the data center: cold groundwater is pumped from a depth of around six meters at various pumping stations. In a heat exchanger, the groundwater absorbs the waste heat. The slightly heated water is then returned to the groundwater reservoir via an absorption well outside the site. We ensure that the groundwater is completely separated from the closed cooling water circuit of the data center at all times. The temperature difference of the groundwater is permanently monitored and must not exceed a specific and technically monitored difference of seven degrees. The amount of water drawn is also limited. As soon as the quota is reached, the pump switches off automatically. This technology saves one-third of the electricity used for cooling – compared with pure cooling via conventional chillers.

In addition to this site-specific cooling option using groundwater, we use other innovative technologies in Munich 2 to operate our data center sustainably:

  • Heat recovery
    The heat generated in the data center is also used at the Munich 2 site to operate the underfloor heating, for example in offices, in the entrance area or in the stairwell for heating.
  • Rainwater use in the building
    Some of the rainwater is collected and used, for example, to flush toilets.
  • Rainwater infiltration
    The greater part of the rainwater is channeled into above-ground buffer storage tanks, called infiltration trenches, which have been constructed around the data center. This allows the rainwater to infiltrate over a wide area and relieves the burden on the sewage system. In addition, the extensive green roof area provides storage for extremely heavy rainfall and releases this water slowly over several days via external downpipes, also into the infiltration trenches.

All our clients at the Munich 2 site benefit from these technical innovations. Companies can also further reduce their climate impact by operating their IT systems with 100% renewable energy.

Are you looking for sustainable colocation space for your company? Come and see our innovative solutions for yourself – on request during a tour of our data center. We look forward to hearing from you: you can reach us at +49 69 7801-2110, by email at dc.emea.sales@global.ntt or via our contact form

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