Cooling 100% green-powered data centres

Delivering most efficient air cool system to support the expansion of Iceland's largest data centre operator

atNorth Data Centre, Iceland

Tailored to customer needs

Systemair adapted its existing product portfolio with new features to accommodate atNorth’s requirements and Iceland’s strong winds, rain and challenging climate.

Project support and scalability

The optimal solution was developed and tested in real life in the first phases, and Systemair continues to deliver units for the next sites to help Atnorth to scale up its operations.

Energy performance requirements

Direct free-cooling units do not use any mechanical cooling support, meeting Atnorth's requirement for the greenest and energy-efficient cooling method.

Data Centre


Efficiency and sustainability at the very core

AtNorth is the largest colocation data centre operator in Iceland, and they are known for their high-density computing technology and focus on sustainability. Flexibility is critical to start-up spirited atNorth, which has a vision for a 50 MW mega site in the Nordics using 100% green electricity from renewable sources, making it one of the most sustainable and cost-efficient wholesale data centres ever built.

The Systemair DCC Application team worked closely with atNorth from 2018 to identify and deliver the best solution that will meet their strong sustainability ethos and ensure utmost reliability considering Iceland’s cold, windy, and rainy climate.

Anna Kontradenko Profile Picture
Anna Kontradenko

Spirit of collaboration

AtNorth required a free-cooling solution for their data hall without any mechanical support. A critical requirement of AtNorth was to have a low power consumption of around 1.05 pPUE (partial power usage effectiveness).

To meet this requirement, Systemair, through Anna Kontradenko, worked actively with the customer to discuss a range of possible solutions. The proactive yet collaborative approach was appreciated by atNorth, which has continued to work closely with Systemair and its experts to analyse the most effective solutions in line with their requirements.

Systemair then actively adapted existing direct free-cooling units in its product portfolio for atNorth with some specific features to accommodate the design specifications and sometimes harsh geographic conditions of Iceland.

The solutions were also calibrated for better air mixing in the mixing chamber. The solutions were made possible from the cooperation of Systemair offices in Turkey, Spain and Sweden.

The success of our close cooperation and continuous communication allowed us to identify the most efficient solution, enabling us to meet their growing needs faster, making it easy to scale up.

Anna Kontradenko
DCC Product Manager Air Solutions, Systemair

Navigating the seas

Systemair had to overcome logistics challenges to ensure the quickest possible delivery of the units.

Due to the geographic nature of Iceland, the units needed to be transported by boat, as land travel through Europe would have been exceptionally complicated. However, the movement of ships was temporarily halted due to ongoing geopolitical conflicts. The logistics teams in Sweden and Turkey worked closely together to find a solution. The experience has provided insights needed to ensure more seamless delivery of the following orders.

Tailored solutions

In total, Systemair delivered 14 direct free-cooling units, the DV190C with 230 kW cooling capacity and airflow of up to 57000m3/h. The first 8 units for the first building and another 6 for the second facility.

The solutions were accommodated to provide the following:

  • Cold temperatures and wind protection with a 4-stage damper and deflector for air mixing.

  • Modular cowl covering the whole section without any screws - smartly assembled with rivets and welded around for maximum water tightness.

  • Control cabinet outside the unit -  for indoor installation

  • Service doors equipped with special safety wire to prevent sudden impact of the heavy wind

The air intake was designed for the Nordic climate to ensure a good mix of outdoor air with return air. The unique solution of 4 intake dampers was developed by Systemair's Spanish R&D. Systemair Turkey developed the special cowl, which was factory tested with rain simulation.

The pPUE of the unit is 1.03-1.05, depending on load, which is low for a data centre cooling unit of this scale.

Thanks to the favourable Nordic climate, the unit maintains supply air temperatures within ASHRAE recommended temperatures all year round, with no cooling coil needed eliminating the need for any refrigerant used.

Since their first order atNorth has scaled up. They now have several more buildings under construction and Systemair received an order for the next batch of units.