Newly-opened data storage center in the Norwegian fjords challenges students during innovation camp on May 8, 2017

The first in a series of 4 green entrepreneurship innovation camps in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway, was held in Eid high school on May 8th as part of the GREENT project. 82 students aged 17 participated along with their teachers. They had to solve a challenge that the company which gave the assignment has not yet been able to find an answer to.

The challenge:

Lefdal My Data Center, which opens in two days (10.05.17) is potentially the largest data center in the world. A data center is a building with many servers. Usually servers need energy for both operation and cooling. In Lefdal My Data Center, the consumption of energy in the long term can reach more than 1.5 TWh. This corresponds to the consumption of electricity for a large city with around 100,000 inhabitants (or all who live in our county Sogn og Fjordane). All this creates large amounts of energy in the form of heat. Therefore, the servers must be cooled down. In Lefdal Mine Datacenter it is useful to use water for cooling down. Cold water – and hot water out. The hot water we call surplus heat. It hosts huge amounts of hot water that will warm up to hundreds of millions of dollars in energy. Over time as much as 1.5 billion NOK per year.

What do we do with the hot water? There is some exciting business ideas today, but is there others? Hot water can be used a lot! If we come up with new ideas, products or services, Lefdal Mine Datacenter will be more environmentally-friendly and we will create values that will give our business competition advantages in the global data center market.

Imagine you have the chance to meet the CEO at Lefdal Mine Datacenter, the mayor of Eid, a bank and some investors. You have to convince them that you have a brilliant idea worth investing in the excess heat from Lefdal Mine Datacenter. Create a presentation that convinces the audience.

The students started with team building exercises and made some rules for the work.  Then they worked for the whole day and presented their solutions to the jury.

The winning team had an original idea to use all the hot water to grow algae and use it for biofuel for cars. Other solutions were to use the hot water for heating houses, and for making new energy out of the damp and heat.

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