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Swedish Data Center Saves Money by Using Seawater for Cooling

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interxion-containment-overhIn modern society, people are very dependent on technology. With all of the advancements in modern electronics and technology, data centers are essential. Many servers are required to store data and allow the expansion of both information and technology to continue on. However, these data centers generate a lot of heat, which can damage hardware and cause other problems without cooling. A cutting edge method to cool data centers has emerged, where cold seawater is used, and companies are taking notice. One such company in Sweden shelled out about a million dollars on this system, which paid for itself after roughly a year. When it comes to cooling a data center, a million isn’t much, and the fact that it pays for itself so soon is sure to contribute to the expansion of this cooling system.

Because this Swedish seawater is cold to begin with, nature has already helped out. With water that is less than 43 degrees Fahrenheit, it is easy to see why companies would want to implement this system. After the water has made its way through the system, it reaches a temperature of roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, additional heat that is generated is then used to heat other homes and businesses. For someone who doesn’t understand the level of heat that a data center generates on a daily basis, this will help them realize just how hot it can get. Imagine the damage and havoc this heat would cause for a data center that doesn’t have a cooling system. As anyone can see, this method takes advantage of everything it can to make the cooling system as effective as possible.

Primary benefits of this cooling system include:

• Efficiently cools data centers so hardware doesn’t overheat

• Saves companies a significant amount of money

• The cost to build this system is low

Although there are a lot of reasons companies would be smart to build a cooling system like this, it isn’t perfect. One of the primary drawbacks with this technology is the impact it has on the environment. While these cooling systems take advantage of the cold temperatures that nature provides, they also pose a risk to sea life.

Threats to Jellyfish

Although using seawater to cool data centers has a number of excellent benefits, it isn’t flawless. When pumps operate and suck up seawater, it is believed that jellyfish sometimes get sucked up as well. Because of the threat posed to jellyfish and other environmental concerns, the government sometimes requires the cooling system to cease operations. While this can be somewhat complicating, companies will continue to implement this technology and take advantage of the benefits that come with using this method. When it comes to technological innovation, there are usually a number of pros and cons. With this cooling system, it is no different. As long as the perks significantly outweigh the downsides, companies will continue to find this system lucrative.

Pumps Suck Away Sea Life, Harm Environment

Not only do these pumps pose a significant threat to jellyfish, but other types of sea life as well. Unfortunately, when they operate they sometimes suck up a variety of nearby sea life. When you think about these massive pumps that suck seawater in to cool off a data center, it isn’t difficult to picture how sea life can get pulled in also. Obviously, companies can’t fully control what they suck up along with the seawater. In the future, it is very likely these cooling systems will be found in other locations, such as frigid rivers, so it is very important to keep in mind the current drawbacks to this method. Although these cooling systems are required to shut down at certain times, the government doesn’t always step in and stop operations. Because of this, it is highly likely these pumps will spread to other parts of the globe.

This System is Inexpensive to Build

So, how much does this system cost to implement, anyway? One company in Sweden invested roughly a million dollars on the cooling system. Although that might sound like a lot of money to most people, it is relatively modest for a large data center. With the global economy experiencing complications in recent years, many companies are looking for ways to save money. While some have to lay off employees, others can find savings by implementing more cost-effective technology, such as this cooling system. Because this system paid for itself after about a year of operation, many companies are likely to make the decision to build one of these cooling systems for themselves. Although they will take the environmental risks into consideration, it is not likely to prevent them from saving money and cooling their data center conveniently. Also, even though the government might step in from time to time and tell them to shut the system down, the frequency of such setbacks is not often enough to keep them from wanting it. Companies would be smart to build systems that are more affordable, especially if the costs associated with implementation can be recovered in roughly a year.

The Cooling Will Continue

After taking a look at the benefits of this cooling system, you can understand why this technology is likely to become more widespread in the coming years. Companies will always want to find savings and are sure to be attracted to the fact that this system pays for itself so soon. Plus, the relatively low cost to build this system will certainly draw in more companies. This system is far from perfect, with the threat that sea life faces as a result of the pump sucking water. Although the system gets its cold water, it also sucks up jellyfish. Government regulation occasionally requires companies to shut down their cooling systems, but not often enough to take away from how lucrative this system is. It is important to understand this cooling system, since it will likely be found in different areas as it increases in popularity in the future. Because of the increasing demand for energy and the fact that companies are always looking for ways to reduce their energy costs, it is easy to see why this cooling system is likely to become more prevalent.




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