Google Lowers Data Center Eco-Footprint with Ocean Water Cooling

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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.

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