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Google Lowers Data Center Eco-Footprint with Ocean Water Cooling

Image courtesy of The Stock Exchange ("Myrtle Beach," uploaded by jbournay)

It’s not often I hear positive environmental news from data centers and others involved in e-media, but this one caught my eye. Google has announced that it’s using sea water to cool its new data center in Hamina, Finland. It’s even produced a video that explains how it works.  The water flows in through granite tunnels created by the previous occupant — a paper mill — so it’s re-using existing resources.

The big deal is that data centers generate heat, and heat requires cooling. But with this ocean water cooling system, no air conditioning or other cooling methods are necessary. The big savings for Google is money, but there is an incidental environmental benefit, too. Data centers require massive amounts of energy — energy typically driven by coal — so lower energy use translates into a smaller ecological footprint.

So read the press release. Check out the video. Enjoy your good environmental news for the day.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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