Saturday, November 5, 2011

Data Centers need a lot of cooling

By Jason Skidmore

Facebook is planning on building a data center near the arctic circle to take advantage of the cold temperatures throughout the year. Facebook plans to build three giant server halls covering an area the size of 11 football fields. Lulea is situated at the northern tip of the Baltic Sea, close to 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The servers rely on air cooling, yet in order to keep them running, it will require 120MW of power, that is roughly enough to supply 16,000 homes. The power needs of the server farm will be met be renewable electricity generated by dams on the Lulea river. Facebook is not the first to look to the near arctic for building server farms. Microsoft has also looked into building a server farm in Siberia. Google has also looked into building one in southern Finland. This seems to be a trend that will continue as more and more data centers are needed.

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