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Swedish data center saves $1 million a year using seawater for cooling

James Niccolai | May 17, 2013
Collocation provider Interxion uses water pumped from the Baltic Sea to cool its data centers.

It doesn't pump seawater directly through its cooling systems. Instead, the seawater goes to a heat exchanger where it's used to cool fresh water. It has to clean the exchanger fairly regularly, but Coors said it's a simple maintenance job.

Over the life of the project, Interxion has lowered its Power Usage Effectiveness ratio, a measure of how efficiently energy is used, from 1.95 to 1.09, which is an enviably low score.

Since Interxion relies on a third party for its seawater, it can't guarantee the supply will never be shut off. It therefore has chillers on site so that it can guarantee reliability levels to its hosting clients.

But it had to run the chillers only a few hours last year, Coors said, when the government ordered its partner to stop pumping seawater. Coors isn't certain why that was, but he believes it's for environmental reasons. "I think it's to protect the jellyfish," he said.

He'd like to use water from other rivers and lakes around Europe, but some regions are skittish about potential environmental impacts.

"London would be excellent if we could get access to the Thames, but they're kind of scared," he said.

 

 

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