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[NYT] Microsoft Tests Underwater Data Center

post #1 of 101
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Quote:
Taking a page from Jules Verne, researchers at Microsoft believe the future of data centers may be under the sea.

Microsoft has tested a prototype of a self-contained data center that can operate hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean, eliminating one of the technology industry’s most expensive problems: the air-conditioning bill.

Today’s data centers, which power everything from streaming video to social networking and email, contain thousands of computer servers generating lots of heat. When there is too much heat, the servers crash.

Putting the gear under cold ocean water could fix the problem. It may also answer the exponentially growing energy demands of the computing world because Microsoft is considering pairing the system either with a turbine or a tidal energy system to generate electricity.

The effort, code-named Project Natick, might lead to strands of giant steel tubes linked by fiber optic cables placed on the seafloor. Another possibility would suspend containers shaped like jelly beans beneath the surface to capture the ocean current with turbines that generate electricity.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/technology/microsoft-plumbs-oceans-depths-to-test-underwater-data-center.html?_r=0
post #2 of 101
Now that is how you watercool!!!
post #3 of 101
Neat and all but I don't see how the logistics of doing this would be cheaper than paying to cool a normal building. I guess it would be comparing one sunk cost versus an ongoing cost but that one sunk cost would be huge and take a very long time to recoup.
post #4 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider85 View Post

Now that is how you watercool!!!
Ba-dum-Tss!! drum.gifbiggrin.gif

But seriously,that looks like a viable idea to me..
Edited by mAs81 - 2/1/16 at 1:06pm
   
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post #5 of 101
Neat, we have turned the ocean into a giant liquid cooling reservoir, I wonder if they are planning on pumping sea water into giant radiators inside the building to cool it (reverse of how we cool our computers) or if they plan to just hope the cold temps keep the insides cool.

Seems like having a large radiator inside the building with a fan blowing on it will take warm air, pass it through a cold radiator, then blow out cold air and push the warm water back outside, will work fairly well.
post #6 of 101
Unda' da' sea!
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post #7 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejohnson View Post

Neat, we have turned the ocean into a giant liquid cooling reservoir, I wonder if they are planning on pumping sea water into giant radiators inside the building to cool it (reverse of how we cool our computers) or if they plan to just hope the cold temps keep the insides cool.

Seems like having a large radiator inside the building with a fan blowing on it will take warm air, pass it through a cold radiator, then blow out cold air and push the warm water back outside, will work fairly well.

Pumping water inside would be a huge risk. Its much simpler to stick a cooler on the outside.
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post #8 of 101
If sea water will be in contact with metal, it's not going to last very long.
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post #9 of 101
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloppy007 View Post

If sea water will be in contact with metal, it's not going to last very long.

someone could put a coating on to help reduce the rate of corrosion....and unless it is a permanent facility...most servers arent permanent fixtures...when new technology comes out that saves energy and increases speed come out....they usually replace those servers pretty quickly to capitalize on the savings...
Edited by soth7676 - 2/1/16 at 1:39pm
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post #10 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by mAs81 View Post

Ba-dum-Tss!! drum.gifbiggrin.gif

But seriously,that looks like a viable idea to me..

viable on a small scale, not so much on a large scale.

thermal pollution is actually very damaging to nature.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloppy007 View Post

If sea water will be in contact with metal, it's not going to last very long.
copper-nickle alloys lasts quite a long time in sea water.
copper alloys are also resistant to biofauling.
and lastly, copper is a much better heatsink than most other metals.
Edited by epic1337 - 2/1/16 at 2:10pm
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