I’ve often wondered why data centers don’t all move as far north (or south-toward the poles) as possible, especially as cooling becomes the most expensive part of running a data center.

Finland qualifies as pretty far north and water from the North Sea certainly is a great cooling agent.  That’s what Google’s move there seems so smart.’

According to the video – available here – Google runs sea water to the facility through a tunnel that was built for the Summa paper mill as far back as the 1950s. The water, says Google senior director of data center construction Joe Kava, is run through a heat exchanger, where it is used to dissipate heat from the facility’s servers.

Data Center Knowledge reports that the sea water goes through four separate straining systems before it reaches the heat exchanger, and that it cools a separate water stream that’s then used to cool the data center.

The water is then moved to a “tempering building”, where it’s mixed with a separate stream of water from from the sea, so that it’s cooled before returning to the gulf. “We return it a temperature that is much more similar to the inlet temperature, so we minimize any environmental impact in that area,

Google also just invested $55 million into Mojave Desert Windfarms.

About the Author