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First data center with innovative waste heat recovery in Berlin

The first large-scale facility for innovative waste heat utilization in a data center is being built in Berlin-Mahlsdorf. ScaleUp Technologies and Penta Infra are planning to build a microalgae farm for the third ScaleUp site in Berlin in order to transfer the waste heat from the data center into a circular economy.

The premium data center provider Penta Infra and the cloud and business hoster provider ScaleUp Technologies start their partnership for the marketing of sustainably operated server colocation and cloud services in Germany in 2022. The synergy effects of the cooperation arise from the common focus regions on the German market, the complementary IT infrastructure services offered and the development of new, sustainable business processes.

The young cooperation starts right away with a turning point for the future of the data center industry. This is because Penta Infra and ScaleUp Technologies are planning an innovative heat recovery system for the Berlin-Mahlsdorf site, which is to be created by a microalgae farm on the data center site. Penta Infra got the idea from ScaleUp Technologies. In this way, the waste heat from the cloud and managed server infrastructures operated by ScaleUp at the Berlin-Mahlsdorf data center is transferred to a circular economy. In addition, carbon dioxide (CO2) from the supplied outside air is captured. This will create the first large data center in Germany whose waste heat will be used on an industrial scale with innovative solutions. 

Launch in early summer 2022

ScaleUp will move into the data center at the Berlin-Mahlsdorf site in early summer 2022 to further expand its own colocation and cloud infrastructure. This is the third Berlin location for the business hosting company, which also operates data center locations in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, each with its own cloud infrastructures based on Open Infrastructure. ScaleUp will operate one of the six halls and expand its server housing space in the Berlin region by more than 300 square meters, doubling its size. "We are pleased to have ScaleUp in our facilities. We appreciate their trust and see ScaleUp as a strong addition to our ecosystem, which will help us and our other partners to offer a complete service package from this DC," said Alex Bakker, CEO of Penta Infra.

What makes the Berlin Mahlsdorf data center location unique

The newly refurbished data center in Berlin-Mahlsdorf will set new standards in terms of security, efficiency and sustainability. In addition to ISO27001 certification, the new data center is also certified by TÜViT as a Level 3 enhanced data center in accordance with TSI (Trusted Site Infrastructure) requirements. This means it offers a particularly high level of security and genuine high availability. The formerly publicly managed data center with a total IT area of 1,800 square meters has a power capacity of 3 megawatts and offers an infrastructure availability of 99.999%. Trained security personnel are on site around the clock. In 2017, the high-performance data center was acquired by Penta Infra and has been continuously refurbished and upgraded to the latest technology since then. Since 2020, it has also been powered by 100% electricity from renewable sources.

 The first large data center with innovative waste heat recovery in Berlin

Commissioning of the microalgae cultivation plant is scheduled for as early as this year. An already productive high-performance data center will thus be supplemented by a heat recovery concept. The microalgae cultivation facility will be built directly on the data center site, which covers more than 31,000 square meters. According to current planning, between 40 and 50 tons of CO2 per year can be bound thanks to the waste heat recovery and utilization.

Blue-green algae pull carbon dioxide from the outside air

Blue-green algae are actually not algae, but bacteria or "microalgae". The blue-green algae grow in a nutrient solution in a shallow water basin. The nutrient solution is supplied with outside air, from which the microalgae extract and bind the carbon dioxide. In a short time, the blue-green algae convert a lot of carbon dioxide into biomass and can be harvested after just a few days. After drying, the microalgae can be used in many ways, for example as a food supplement or in cosmetic products.


Digital infrastructures have become a significant factor in the global energy and climate footprint. To enable the continued growth of the data economy, and to make it sustainable, data centers need to become both more efficient and a circular economy. Many data centers are already in the process of gradually converting their power supply to renewable energy. This is an important first step toward a sustainable data economy.

However, data centers also generate heat when processing data, which is currently hardly used in Germany. Much of the waste heat from servers is cooled down with the help of expensive cooling systems or released unused into the environment. This means that valuable energy is consistently wasted, which could be used in various ways, for example to generate hot water, district heating or for construction projects that require heat all year round, such as swimming pools, laundries and greenhouses. But also for aquaponics (the breeding of aquatic animals) the server waste heat could be reused very well.

About Penta Infra:

Penta Infra is a fast-growing premium provider of data center services in the European region. Penta currently operates 10 data center sites in Europe, including four in Germany. Additional sites are located in the Netherlands and Denmark. In addition, Penta Infra is increasingly investing in the expansion of fiber-optic infrastructures and in local Tier-1 cloud data centers.

Penta Infra is positioned as an "Added Value Infrastructure Investor" and relies on long-term relationships with its customers to provide them with a tailored solution. Currently, Penta is expanding into other European countries and is working intensively on its sustainable growth strategy as well as solutions for sustainable data centers. Penta is in the planning stage for further heat recovery projects, including at the Düsseldorf site. An aquaponics facility for fish farming is to be built here in the direct vicinity of the high-performance data center.


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