Google recently released a new video showing some of the details regarding how they turned an old paper mill into a data center and are utilizing a seawater tunnel which was already in existence to pump water into heat exchangers to cool the servers. The warmed water is subsequently mixed with fresh seawater to cool it down before returning it to the ocean.
A polished video of how Google is using sea water to cool their data center
There is no word on how much money this method of cooling will save Google since one would imagine there is significant electricity being utilized to pump water through the large building. Moreover, it is unclear if this new cooling method in Finland can be replicated in other areas where oceanfront property could be more expensive.
But if the price of oil and electricity continues to increase significantly, the higher cost of oceanfront property may be offset by savings in air conditioning usage.
An early look at the facility before the cooling system was completed
Perhaps the greatest irony of the story is the fact the building was once a paper mill. Paper as we know is in less demand as a result of the Internet. Moreover, advertising, which subsidized massive amounts of paper printing via newspaper and magazine dissemination has moved to the web where Google is a leader.
So in a way, Google helped paper mills worldwide become less important and has in this case anyway been able to directly benefit from the paper mill becoming available.
And this news certainly one-ups Facebook’s recent open data center design because – let’s face it, it is pretty cool and different. So as a PR move this is brilliant.
For more information you can go to google.com/corporate/datacenter.