With summer temperatures topping out in the low 70s in Belgium, Google has decided to forego the use of chillers at its data center there.
The data center will benefit from not having to use electricity for chillers, and it also is using an on-site water purification system to pull cooling water from a canal, instead of the local water system, reports DataCenterKnowledge.
Having a data center with no electrical cooling devices might work for Google and other large multinationals, but not for other businesses. Because Google relies on multiple data centers, it would have the option of rerouting traffic if, for some reason, Belgium experienced a heat wave that negatively impacted the center’s operations. Smaller companies with only one data center would not have that option.
Additionally, if there were a fire upwind of Google’s Belgium facility, the data center might have to shut down to prevent smoke particulates from entering the center and fouling the equipment, reports ComputerWorld.
Other major Internet companies are relying free-cooling.
Yahoo has devised a so-called “chicken coop” design for its upstate New York data center, reports Techworld. The building uses a series of louvres to direct warm air up and out of the building, while pulling in cool air from below.
Yahoo’s “Computing Coops” will be prefabricated from metal, measuring about 120 feet by 60 feet. Yahoo plans to use five of the modular structures in the complex. Each of the buildings will have a high-pitched roof to keep heat away from the servers and direct it elsewhere.