Besides investing in the most interesting and promising green technologies, Google is now reaffirming its green commitment by building a data center in Hamina, Finland. Initially built in the 1950s and projected to be a paper mill, the building already had tunnels diving into the sea.
By using a small submarine, they tested the granite tunnels to see if there’s anything blocking them and, to everybody’s surprise, they had been perfectly functional.
Through the tunnels, the sea water is pumped to pipes inside the datacenter. Those pipes then enter heat exchangers which circulate a liquid to all of the servers’ cooling systems, gathering the heat. The last step is taking the liquid, pass if through the heat exchanger again and transfer the heat into the water. Before releasing it into the sea, the hot water is mixed with cooler water, because otherwise it would imbalance the local marine ecosystem.
Since a data center’s biggest expense is energy, Hamina‘s water cooling solution literally saves millions of dollars a year, without using any air conditioning whatsoever.
Here’s a video made by Google explaining in images and greater detail what I just said above.