Google to tap chilly Ireland for green data center

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Google continues to favor countries with cold climates for the construction of new data centers, which can dramatically reduce the energy consumption of the facility. The latest country is Ireland, and Google says it plans to build an 11-acre data center in Dublin that will utilize Ireland’s naturally chilly climate to provide outside air for cooling. Google bought an existing building and land and is retrofitting the facility.

Internet companies like Google are increasingly looking to reduce the need for power-hungry air conditioning units in data centers, which have been traditionally used to keep servers and IT systems in the data centers cool. But as companies build more and more data centers, they are realizing the need to reduce the overall energy consumption footprint, and building cooling systems that tap into the natural climate are becoming more and more popular.

The big requirement for using outside cooling is, of course, the temperature of the outside air. That’s why Google has turned to both Finland, and now Ireland, for the construction of its latest data centers. Google is building a mega data center in Finland that won’t just tap into the cold outside air, but also the seas to pump cool water into the facility.

Google’s data center in Ireland will be built in Dublin’s Profile Park, will cost about €75 million (about $100 million USD) and will provide 200 jobs at the height of construction and 30 permanent operations jobs. Google already rents data center space in Ireland, has at least three corporate offices buildings and about 2,000 local employees there .

Google is also building more data centers in Europe to serve its European customers, and because the EU has strict laws about where data about European citizens is stored.

Google has been a leader in reducing the energy consumption of its data centers, and also more recently has focused on making that process more transparent. For the first time last month, Google revealed its total electricity consumption — which largely comes from its data centers — and said it plans to source a third of its power directly from clean sources by 2012.

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