Google Doubles Down on Sea-Cooled Data Center

The President of Finland visited Google’s data center at edge of the Baltic Sea on Thursday, joining the web giant as it announced it will spend an additional 150 million euros ($184 million) to build a second computing facility in southern Finland as part of an effort to meet increased demand for its web services.

“The internet has become an integral part of society and — as businesses move online — a key driver of economic growth and jobs,” read a canned statement from Google data center manager Dieter Kern.

Google is just one of many web giants erectiGoogleng their own data centers across the world, including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. Rather than serve up their web services from leased data center space, they can save money and power by designing and operating dedicated facilities wherever they’re needed.

Facebook recently announced that its third custom data center will go up in Lulea, Sweden, about 800 kilometers from Hamina. These sites were chosen specifically to handle traffic in Northern Europe, but the Scandinavian temperatures also make it easier to cool these facilities.

“When someone tells you we’ve selected the next data center site and it’s a paper mill built back in 1953, your first reaction might be: ‘What the hell are you talking about?’,” Google data center man Joe Kava told us earlier this year. “‘How am I going to make that a data center?’ But we were actually excited to learn that the mill used sea water for cooling…. We wanted to make this as green a facility as possible, and reusing existing infrastructure is a big part of that.”


In similar fashion, Google’s new facility will sit inside a second building that served as the mill’s machine hall. It too will use the sea-cooling system pioneered by Kava and his team.



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