Companies like to talk about how environmentally-friendly they are, but it seems to be more talk than action. Google’s actually doing something about it, though, with their new seawater-cooled data center.The center, based in Hamina, Finland, is scheduled to open later this year. It used to be a paper mill, and the building already had tunnels connecting it to the sea. Google had already acuired the site a couple of years ago, which is situated on the gulf of Finland.
The data center cleans the incoming seawater using a complex series of filters coming in, and then sends the water into heat exchangers that take the heat from the numerous servers at the site. The water itself is then pumped back into the Gulf, but not before it is cooled back down to mitigate any risk to the local ecosystem. Since it’s using saltwater, there is the inevitable corrosion that has to be dealt with, however. The cooling system has to be periodically cleaned in order to keep running.
It’s great that Google is actually trying to be a good global citizen. Most companies try to focus on the bottom line, no matter what negative environmental impacts they may have. This may be because public companies are legally required to deliver a profit to their shareholders by law. Google, however, is a young and innovative enough company, even as big as they are now with data centers all over the world, to try to change the way business is done. They seem realize that being environmentally friendly is good business because it ensures they’ll actually be able to do business in the future.
Since we cover technology we have a lot of posts about Google. For example, there’s the classic early years of Google. If you have an Android phone, you can do video chat with Google Voice. We also covered Google Voice opening to the public.