A data center is being used to test a new interesting concept in Pennsylvania – the center has been built into the Iron Mountain, deep underground. The mountain holds an old limestone mine, which houses the data center currently. Researchers’ goal is to determine whether this is a suitable location for a data center or not, considering the cooling options provided by the limestone.
Because of its surroundings, the data center doesn’t need a raised floor. Instead, they’ve used the coolness from the limestone walls surrounding the computer racks – the walls can absorb 1.5BTUs per square foot, and there are also vents which take away the heat. Heat is forced through the ceiling tiles, where it’s absorbed by the limestone.
There’s also an underground lake nearby, and water from it is being used for cooling right now. Eventually, the racks themselves may also be cooled by this water. The center is currently very efficient, having cut their energy costs by 10-15% compared to other data centers by the same company. If this experiment proves successful, this may set a new precedent in the development of data centers.
[ Via Treehugger ]