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HP's New Data Center Cooled By Glacial Wind

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the heating-up-the-whole-outdoors dept.

Data Storage 116

Arvisp writes with this snippet about HP's recently completed datacenter in northeast England, which utilizes the glacial wind blowing off the North Sea to lower temperatures of IT equipment and plant rooms: "The Wynyard takes in the cool air, filters it accordingly and collects it in the management system and is then forced over the front of the server racks before it is exhausted. The result is a hall with a constant temperature of 24C. When the winds become even colder than usual, the exhausted heat is mixed with the outside air to maintain temperatures."

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Sounds cold! (0, Offtopic)

Elshar (232380) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129630)

Chilly

Also fp

Re:Sounds cold! (3, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129678)

    24C is 75F. That sounds like a wonderful place to work, as long as you don't have to go outside. :)

Re:Sounds cold! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129952)

That don't sound very cold to me...

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129976)

24C is way too much for a comfortable working environment. In my house, the heating system keeps the air at an average of 22C and it's sometimes so warm it's tiring.

Re:Sounds cold! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130136)

That all depends on what climate you're used to. I myself prefer 23-24.

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130902)

    I live in Florida. Subtropical is the norm. This "cold" is driving folks crazy. I've seen people wearing ski jackets to be able to handle it. I know a lot of people don't travel a lot. I've had my time in various climates (anywhere from 24 degrees N to 62 degrees N), so I can handle it, but most of my time was spent between 27 degrees N to 34 degrees N, where it's nice and warm. That's been split between the dry-summer subtropical and humid subtropical.

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131374)

Well, time for another anecdote from south of the border:

I just moved to a new apartment, three bedrooms, nice living area, the complex has a nice garden and there's a beautiful park just outside... Essentially, a great place for the kids to grow.

BUT! It's in the ground floor and there's not much light and DAMN its cold sometimes.

Right now, we are freezing every night... at 6-8 degrees Celsius in these mid-February nights (41-46 Fahrenheit)

Many of you will say "that's not cold!" but its certainly very cold for us!
Also, keep in mind that homes here aren't built with heating or AC, because we are used to have very temperate weather...

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132412)

You're right in saying that a bunch of us won't think that's cold. (I'm just south of the border too - the Canadian border...) I was running around with my coat unzipped the other day, it was so warm. It was hot and sunny, and got all the way up to 0 C here! For February, that's pretty warm. 10 C is enough for me to skip the heavy jacket and hat and just wear a sweatshirt over my button-down shirt.

A college friend of mine is from Puerto Rico, and went home for Christmas. We figured out that it was 100 F colder here one night than at her house in PR. Needless to say, she wasn't so happy when she came back here.

That said, it sounds like you've found a great place to live. Best of luck, and stay warm. :-)

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132436)

17-18C here. Welcome to Canada in winter with a budget heating bill ;)

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:Sounds cold! (1)

mab (17941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132840)

The Air conditioning at work is set to 25C, but I do live in the tropics (Darwin, AU) where outside it's 32C

just a thought... (2, Funny)

snikulin (889460) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129646)

Canada exporting cold (in whatever form) to California.

Re:just a thought... (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129986)

More like California exporting heat to Canada (if you look at it energy wise) but I suppose California is more need of cooling than Canada is in need of heating.

Re:just a thought... (2, Funny)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130458)

I hereby sentence you to spend the rest of the winter in your choice of Edmonton, Saskatoon, or Winnipeg.

Re:just a thought... (1)

fizzup (788545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132560)

Pick Edmonton.

Re:just a thought... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131100)

Canada exporting cold (in whatever form) to California.

But we already sent you Celine Dion ...

Re:just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31131596)

Chris Benoit too.

Chris Benoit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31132714)

He became an hero.

Total cost (0)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129670)

With a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.2 PUE or for every 1.2 watt used to power the equipment, 1 watt is used for cooling, the Wynyard data center is currently HP's most efficient data center.

Did they add the cost to get the power, connectivity, equipment and personnel up there? And will they for more remote places when North America starts doing it?

Re:Total cost (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129822)

Did they add the cost to get the power, connectivity, equipment and personnel up there?

Up where? North-east England is not some remote wilderness. But it is cold.

Re:Total cost (5, Informative)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129850)

Up there? It's not in the wilds of the arctic. My office is about 4 miles away from the place, and there is a very nice pub next to it.

Re:Total cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130094)

and there is a very nice pub next to it.

A simple coincidence I'm sure

Re:Total cost (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130116)

Did no one read the second sentence in my post?

Re:Total cost (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130602)

Did no one read the second sentence in my post?

They all died trying.

Re:Total cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130884)

I did, but I'm not sure what "And will they for more remote places when North America starts doing it?" means. Is that English?

Re:Total cost (0, Troll)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131534)

It's British, obviously.

Re:Total cost (2, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130002)

It's England, it's not exactly a struggle to cross the country in less than day so I'm not sure you can call any part of England remote wilderness.

Re:Total cost (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130060)

Its in Billingham [google.co.uk] , very near Middlesbrough. I'm only surprised they didn't put it nearer the coast, or further away from Middlesbrough.

Re:Total cost (2, Informative)

Sottilde (836088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130200)

Also, they totally botched the definition of PUE - a PUE score of 1.2 means that for every 1.2 watts delivered to the data center, 1 watt of it goes directly into powering the equipment itself and is not maintenance money, like UPSs, cooling, battery backups, etc. So ~83% of power going in is used directly for the IT equipment itself. That's fantastic; the typical data center runs about 2.5 PUE.

Re:Total cost (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131546)

I'm still unclear on the definition. If a center has a PUE of 2.5, does that (still) mean 1 watt is used for equipment, with 1.5 watts going to support systems?

North sea has melted (4, Funny)

johnw (3725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129680)

Bad news for the story writer - global warming is so far advanced that the North Sea is no longer glaciated.

And the land bridge between England and France has been swept away by the melt water!

Re:North sea has melted (1)

ZaMoose (24734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129712)

It's from a .au site -- perhaps "glacial" means "arctic" or "frigid" in Native Aussie English?

Just a guess.

Re:North sea has melted (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129922)

I think "glacial" in Native Aussie English means "too cold to fry an egg on the pavement".

Re:North sea has melted (2, Informative)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129958)

glacial - adj
1. (Earth Sciences / Geological Science) characterized by the presence of masses of ice
2. (Earth Sciences / Geological Science) relating to, caused by, or deposited by a glacier
3. extremely cold; icy
4. cold or hostile in manner a glacial look
5. (Chemistry) (of a chemical compound) of or tending to form crystals that resemble ice glacial acetic acid
6. very slow in progress a glacial pace

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 6th Edition 2003. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Re:North sea has melted (2, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129772)

dang, the same thing happened here in North America, the native americans can't walk back to visit their relatives in Mongolia any more. They should have used some forsitght and done "cap and trade" instead of making all those carbon dioxide emitting cooking fires!

Glacial? (1)

miasmic (669645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129688)

While people who live in the North East of England would probably say the wind "were a bit chilly" most of the year, the nearest glaciers to Billingham would be in Norway, not exactly close enough to influence weather patterns...

Re:Glacial? (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130174)

24C in England? It's hot!

Re:Glacial? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130616)

Glacial obviously just means `cold`, in this context.

Glacial... (2, Informative)

fremsley471 (792813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129726)

The mean annual ambient temperature outside the data-centre is about 9.5 C. Glacial, by definition, is an annual average below 0 C

Source: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/ukmapavge.html# [metoffice.gov.uk] , although you'll have to do the last few clicks to get the correct chart.

Using outside environment for AC. Nothing new. (2, Informative)

nicknamenotavailable (1730990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129756)

What is so special about this?

Toronto has been using water from lake Ontario [toronto.ca] to cool the downtown core for years.

Air is not water. (5, Interesting)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129926)

Cooling with outside air is a bit trickier, since the temperature of the air changes much more quickly. We do this in the computer room of a radio telescope on a 3500m high mountaintop. The AC system has an "economizer" feature provided to cool with outside air, which has been modified to use proportional control to get a much more steady room temperature than the original bang-bang controller. That's needed to keep the analog signal levels from drifting too quickly and messing up the Dicke switching (go look that up). Not so important in a datacenter.

Re:Air is not water. (2, Informative)

murrdpirate (944127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130044)

It's really not that tricky. All you need are temperature/humidity probes for the outdoor air and the return air and a control sequence that knows to use outdoor air instead of return air whenever the temp/humidity of the outdoor air is better. As you said, this is what an economizer does. There's nothing unusual about them, in fact they're required by code in many climates that have cool/dry air.

Re:Air is not water. (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130682)

It's not tricky with the bang-bang type of controller typical of consumer systems which are heating and cooling relatively tolerant loads like people. Where it gets tricky is where you need to maintain a steady state temperature and flow in order to avoid disruption of sensitive electronics.
 
(IOW: I get really annoyed when slashdotters say "all you need is 'X'", without the slightest clue as to what the real requirements or complexities are.)

Re:Air is not water. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130732)

Erm, since when is 'slap on a PID controller' considered tricky?

Re:Air is not water. (4, Insightful)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131488)

At 3500m altitude, even tying your shoelaces is tricky.

Re:Air is not water. (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130722)

Dicke switching (go look that up)

With safesearch off, I'm not quite sure these [google.com] are the right results...

Before you greens point out the future downsides (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129758)

Do know that this same group has an alternative cooling system engineered using the natural heat gradient of drowning polar bears. So they are covered either way. Quite forward looking and nicely hedged if you ask me.

Maybe the Himalayas are next . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129790)

. . . great views out your data center window . . . great opportunities for winter sports fans . . . oh, and did I mention the mountain climbing . . . ?

Re:Maybe the Himalayas are next . . . ? (1)

JReykdal (637757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129934)

. . . great views out your data center window . . . great opportunities for winter sports fans . . . oh, and did I mention the mountain climbing . . . ?

Iceland is prepping for large datacenters with Artic AC systems :)

Re:Maybe the Himalayas are next . . . ? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130196)

Alaska will be before the Himalayas.

Theres talk about a big fibre project up here to connect the villages and hubs (Nome, Bethel, etc) fibre, cool weather and alot of NG for power would make for good data centers.

Warm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129802)

So what happens when outside temperatures rise to above normal?

Re:Warm (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130412)

They have backup chillers.

Hey, now heres a solution I can really get behind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129816)

Data Center cooling solutions for the future!

Park the servers in the arctic!

I for one highly support this idea as it is not only incredibly efficient but since I live in Iqaluit(its on Baffin Island, in Canada) I might finally get that Fibre line I've always dreamed of!

I've actually been doing something similar involving my gaming PC, patio door, insulation and air conduits. that -40c air makes for some great overclocking headroom! Plus the average 1-2% humidity means theres no measurable frost buildup on the PC internals either.

Hyperbole before accuracy (1, Troll)

ramjambam (1416617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129868)

A glacial wind comes of a glacier. That is a sea wind, a cool wind, a wind, but it is not a glacial wind. The English have never learned about real weather. There is always talk about arctic weather if the temperatures go below zero - arctic weather is in the region of minus 20 to minus 50. It is the north sea that gives temperate weather to Britain, keeps it warmer than continental areas at the same latitude. Ask the Russians!

Re:Hyperbole before accuracy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129902)

It could also mean a very slow-moving wind...

Re:Hyperbole before accuracy (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131920)

Actually I think you will find its the gulf stream which warms the UK and Ireland.

For anyone else who thinks 24 deg sounds hot (2, Interesting)

monoi (811392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129884)

...then this [google.com] is an interesting read.

Re:For anyone else who thinks 24 deg sounds hot (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130260)

Note that the hard disk temperature is usually higher than the room temperature.

Re:For anyone else who thinks 24 deg sounds hot (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130416)

75.2 isn't much hotter than I keep my datacenter where the setpoint is 72+2, ie the compressors run until they get the room to 72 and then don't kick in again till it gets to 74.

Bad call! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129900)

They'll overheat and burn down within next three decades. HP must be creationists and IPCC denialists.

Salt Spray? (2, Interesting)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129920)

Air blowing over sea water usually contains quite a bit of salt. I wonder how they will deal with the salt. People who live on beach front homes are versed in repair costs to their homes and cars from salt ait.

Re: Salt Spray? (2, Funny)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129942)

Given the site's proximity to Middlesbrough, I'm sure there will be plenty of local expertise in air filtration.

Re: Salt Spray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130816)

They need to be more worried about the proximity to Hartlepool and what can happen to you if you happen to look a little bit foreign, possibly French, there ;-)

Re: Salt Spray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129990)

Air blowing over sea water usually contains quite a bit of salt. I wonder how they will deal with the salt.

This is slashdot, where nobody RTFA, but it is really too much to ask that people RTF Summary?

"The Wynyard takes in the cool air, filters it accordingly..."

[emphasis mine]

Re: Salt Spray? (1)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130990)

Air blowing over sea water usually contains quite a bit of salt. I wonder how they will deal with the salt.

This is slashdot, where nobody RTFA, but it is really too much to ask that people RTF Summary?

"The Wynyard takes in the cool air, filters it accordingly..."

[emphasis mine]

Gee, thanks...

HOW?

Re: Salt Spray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31131728)

Duh. With filters.

Re: Salt Spray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31131554)

Wynyard is about 10-15 miles off the coast. Salt has never been a problem for any of us that live within 3-4 miles of the sea.

Gay Ninjas Get The Job Done (TM) (R) (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31129936)

Microsoft is proud to release:

Gay Ninjas From Outer Space

Global warming? (1)

lordmatrix (1439871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31129954)

Is it just me or does anyone else think that a great contributor to global warming is the method with which we create and consume power. We produce most of the electricity with steam and that steam needs to cool off before it can become steam again. They way that steam is cooled is either with water or surrounding air. Every nuclear reactor needs to be next to a river if the outside air is not cold enough. The river on which our reactor is built is 4C hotter after it passes the power plant because it's used to cool the steam. And that temperature increase is constant, all the time. Coal power plants do the same. Then, on the consumer side, we also convert much of that electricity into heat, with inefficient light bulbs, cars (thats why the engine needs a heatsink and a fan), electronic equipment, etc... If your computer uses 150W, thats 150W of heat output per hour. Human body outputs on average ~100Wh.

Re:Global warming? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130142)

Is it just me or does anyone else think that a great contributor to global warming is the method with which we create and consume power.

Classic nerd joke: "This device consumes electricity and thus contributes to the heat death of the universe". Okay, maybe quotes are inappropriate, I don't recall the precise wording. Some scruz geeks stuck them on various items in homes and Uni buildings. An excellent warning label for microwaves, or really any electric heaters since we burn fuel for heat, make electricity from it, transfer it electrically, then turn it into heat again, with the predictable losses from repeated conversion. At least it's an effective way to transfer power.

Everything we do that uses power is a contributor to global warming. Of course, we have known for quite some time that things we do which trap heat on the planet are a big problem, and that CO2 is a substance which does this; we also have long known that we produce orders of magnitude more than forces which are known to affect global climate, I specifically refer to volcanism. But it would be interesting to try to figure out which is more serious; the inefficiency which results in heat production, or the trapping of the heat.

If your computer uses 150W, thats 150W of heat output per hour.

Sure, if your computer uses 150W, pretty much all of that is dissipated as heat. But your monitor produces quite a bit of light. Of course, in an LCD, much of that also becomes heat; not just the inefficiency of making it, but also when the photons strike blacked-out (or just colored) cells in the LCD panel, since LCD is a subtractive display technology. CRTs are additive, but there's so much nonsense behind them that they work out to be less efficient anyway. Eagerly awaiting affordable LED displays...

Re:Global warming? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130344)

And of the light emitted by the monitor, almost all of it gets absorbed by the walls and other things in your room, and therefore also converted into heat. If you want to reduce that, you can put your monitor with the display towards the window, so that some of its light can leave the room and go directly into space. Of course that only works for clear sky (and only if you have a clear view to the sky, so cut that tree in front of your window!), so you better don't work when the weather is bad. :-)

Re:Global warming? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132222)

If I remember my reading of what Maxwell's Demon was about, your description of venting light out your window so it doesn't become trapped heat in the house is remarkably close to it... and then to have that as your /. handle... great stuff :)

Re:Global warming? (1)

psycho12345 (1134609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130404)

Umm, hate to break it to you, but both creating and consuming power can't defy thermodynamics, specifically 2nd law.

Re:Global warming? (1)

lordmatrix (1439871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130478)

Which part of my comment violates the 2nd law which says the thermal energy can only flow from hot to cold objects?

Re:Global warming? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130414)

Actually, no, dissipated energy from power plants or computers is not what causes global warming. They are insignificant compared to the sun. What causes global warming is increased retention of solar energy in the atmosphere due to greenhouse gasses, such as methane and COs. Now, the river just downstream from a nuclear power plant can certainly be warmed thus changing that little bit of the environment quite drastically, but that is not "global" warming.

As for this application specifically, even though it does expel heat into the air, it's much better than most data centers; they all eventually expel the heat into the air, but most of them use additional energy to power air conditioners, and that energy (or more importantly, the greenhouse gasses created producing that energy) go into the air too.

Re:Global warming? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130572)

Is it just me or does anyone else think that a great contributor to global warming is the method with which we create and consume power.

Yes. Especially the burning of fossil fuels. However, it's not the heat generated; that is negligible compared to the energy the sun delivers all the time. The problem is that the CO2 we release into the atmosphere reduces the amount of solar heat the earth can give back into space.

We produce most of the electricity with steam and that steam needs to cool off before it can become steam again.

It doesn't matter whether we use steam. Whenever we want to convert heat into work (and that is what all those power plants do, with the exception of wind power; it's BTW also what your car's motor does), we have to release some of the energy as heat into rthe environment again. That's just a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. However, note that the heat released in that process is less than the heat produced by the original process (i.e. burning coal, or splitting atomic nuclei); the difference is the usable energy we get from the process.

Now if we want to escape the second law of thermodynamics, we need to find ways to use the energy stored in the fuels without turning it into heat. For example, currently to make use of the energy released by the chemical reaction of carbon with oxygen, we simply burn the coal (which produces heat), and then we use a heat engine to convert part of that energy into usable energy (and the second law of thermodynamics tells us that at the very moment we turned the energy to heat, we already lost the ability to use all of it). If we would find a way to convert the chemical energy into electric energy without first converting it to heat, the second law of thermodynamics wouldn't come into play, and in principle we could get higher efficiencies than thermodynamics allows.

Then, on the consumer side, we also convert much of that electricity into heat, with inefficient light bulbs, cars (thats why the engine needs a heatsink and a fan), electronic equipment, etc... If your computer uses 150W, thats 150W of heat output per hour. Human body outputs on average ~100Wh.

The car needs a heat sink because it's a heat engine. It's the second law of thermodynamics striking again.
Also note that the 100W are just the human output if you are doing nothing. As soon as you do physical work, the heat output grows.

Re:Global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31131002)

Now if we want to escape the second law of thermodynamics, we need to find ways to use the energy stored in the fuels without turning it into heat. .

Errr. No

You cannot get round the laws of thermodynamics by avoiding burning the fuel.

The Laws of thermodynamics apply to all ways of converting energy stored in one form to energy in another form.
Burning it or not burning it is irrelevant.

Re:Global warming? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31133290)

You cannot get round the laws of thermodynamics by avoiding burning the fuel.

The Laws of thermodynamics apply to all ways of converting energy stored in one form to energy in another form.
Burning it or not burning it is irrelevant.

While strictly speaking the laws of thermodynamics of course apply everywhere, the second law of thermodynamics only restricts the conversion of heat into work.

Here's the second law in all its glory:

It is impossible to convert heat completely into work in a cyclic process.

There are other formulations involving entropy, but given that heat is the only form of energy which is connected with entropy transfer, they are effectively equivalent.

Glacial Wind Heated by HP's New Data Center (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130032)

So in other words, HP's new data center is heating the glacial wind. That means... they're going to melt the glaciers!!!111!

Not in TFA: It has a 12-foot raised floor (3, Interesting)

miller60 (554835) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130040)

The source article misses some of the coolest design features of this facility. It has the equivalent of a 12-foot high raised floor [datacenterknowledge.com] , using the entire lower level of the facility as a cooling plenum. The fans bring the cool North Sea air into the lower chamber, and they manage the pressure to direct the air up into the server area. There's also a Computerworld story [computerworld.com] with more details but an erroneous headline that suggests that it's the "first-ever" wind cooled data center. The story makes it clear that the facility has chillers as backup for when the wind dies down or air temperature doesn't support free cooling. Both Microsoft [datacenterknowledge.com] and Google [slashdot.org] are already running data centers with no on-site chillers.

Turn the servers 90 (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130228)

Servers are N Units high. Most are 2 or 3 units. So why lie them flat and try to force air front to back when it wants to rise?

Rotate the servers 90 so they are vertical and leave an approx 1U air gap between them.

And while we're reconfiguring the shape of rack servers. Please put the network ports, console ports at the front, the power ports at the back.
 

Re:Turn the servers 90 (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130464)

Because the fans and heatsinks are designed to work in a certain orientation? It's not like convection will move much air (G4 cube comes to mind, even with a big volume it was barely kept in design limits). Oh and I HATE rackmount stuff with front network ports, means I have to use a 1U blanking panel and cut holes for the cables since the racks are all designed for normal equipment. The exception of course is switches where having the ports in front makes sense, but those go into a different kind of rack with front patch management.

Re:Not in TFA: It has a 12-foot raised floor (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130310)

It also didn't mention that EDS had this Data Center planned, designed and construction underway BEFORE the "merger" (aka purchase of EDS accounts not people) with HP. HP didn't know much about running Data Centers until they bought EDS, and now they are taking credit for the work done by EDS before HP bought them.

Re:Not in TFA: It has a 12-foot raised floor (1)

smartaleckkill (1161259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131014)

ya, EDS really knew how to run a data center--the terms 'incompetence' and 'corruption' spring to mind

Re:Not in TFA: It has a 12-foot raised floor (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131750)

Strong words, got proof? I'm sure some folks at HP and thier lawyers would like to discuss this with you.

FIRST (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130206)

consistent with t4e is the worst oof it transforms into are 7000 users

Not a new concept (1)

stickytar (96286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130262)

We have been doing this in Montana for a long time. When the AC units get frozen over we start pumping filtered air from the outside into the server room.

HP Blows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130494)

As an HP employee I have to say HP sucks donkey balls. They treat their employees like crap giving out 3 pay cuts last year while the executive board hands themselves massive bonuses. So, in short be kind and don't purchase any products from HP.

Thanks-

Re:HP Blows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130740)

It was one paycut, and it was refunded at the end of the year.

Re:HP Blows... (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132472)

In other words, try to hurt your company and make it even less successful, thereby ensuring that your workday blows even harder than it already does? Uh... okay, if that's what you want...

cold wind 24x7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31130832)

I wonder if cold wind will be enough............considering it wont blow 24x7

Al Gore was right (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130978)

Man really is causing global warming.

All those x64 boxes would make the planet Mercury look like a winter wonderland. Now, if they just switched to ARM chips.....

I wonder if it will still work, when... (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31130994)

...the gulf stream goes back to its normal route via Europe [dailykos.com] ...

I hope it does not only work because of the current exceptionally cold situation.

That would be a *DOH* of epic propotions. ;)

go all the way (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131142)

Guess it's a step in the right direction though, but really not that exciting all in all. I mean cooling by means of cold breeze, BFD. Instead of stopping at using the cold air to cool those racks they should take the full step and figure out a way to re-use the heat energy. Maybe some kind of thermocouple or Peltier system that takes advantage of the temperature difference between the hot server room and the "glacial winds". Or some kind of heat pump arrangement. Now that would be cool, pardon the pun.

Artic my a$$ (3, Interesting)

viking80 (697716) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131240)

I live across the north sea from the datacenter in a place called Norway. Where this ice cold wind supposedly blows from, and it aint here. As has been well known since the vikings raided that part of England, the winds actually blows *from* England *to* Norway 95% of the time. And here in Norway, it is a warm wet wind blowing from England, and it dumps a lot of rain in western Norway. The result is that even at 61 deg north, the winters are mostly rain, not snow. And in the summers, the ocean temperature is higher than Santa Cruz, CA. Compare that to Anchorage, AK at same latitude!

Re:Artic my a$$ (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31132450)

I'd mod you up if I hadn't posted already. As someone studying oceans and climate, I never cease to be amazed by how much the ocean currents mess with localized climate. I'm in the northern US, going to school with some Danish kids. For being substantially further south, they're getting their asses kicked by winter here.

It's far colder in the winter here, and far warmer in the summer. Mid-continent is no place for anyone to want to live.

warming /=/ cooling ???? (1)

FragHARD (640825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31131930)

Seems like a great way to actually warm the globe up to counteract this global warming(which is actually cooling).... but then again all this change of climate(seasons) would seem to be normal, as the weather usually does not stay the same! through the week, year, century, or millennium.

BTW Personally I think algore is a lying profiteer, but that's my opinion... or I could be like algore and say it is a proven fact ;)

Re:warming /=/ cooling ???? (1)

prof alan (1166873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31133538)

Why is it that, every time there is a story about energy saving measures (which, after all, is what this story is about) someone comes out with the old canard about how the world is cooling really?

"Glacial?" (1)

Retron (577778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31133186)

Glacial? Well, the North Sea off NE England is around 6C [wzkarten.de] at the moment but that's not what I'd call glacial. Last summer (not exactly a "scorcher") it reached 15C, the year before, 16C.
All of this ignores the obvious problem that the prevailing wind over the UK is a SW'ly - and thus the cooling from the sea won't really happen except in summer when sea breezes set in. Indeed, in the winter coastal areas are often warmer than inland. The recent easterlies and NE'lies over England recently have been pretty unusual, all caused by the jet stream being far to the south of usual (it's normally between Scotland and Iceland, but currently it's blasting over the Canaries and the Sahara!)

Glacial? (1)

prof alan (1166873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31133512)

I suppose it could be said to be a glacial wind if it is from the North East, and thus blowing from Norway. After all the nearest glaciers in that direction are only 700km away...

I note, however, that the link is to an Australian site, so by their standards it is pretty cold in this part of the world.

All the hype (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31133582)

There is so much hot air in data centers these days.
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