ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 24

TECHNICAL FEATURE

Alternative Water Cooling
Sources for Data Centers
BY JOHN PETERSON, P.E., MEMBER ASHRAE

With the expansion of cloud computing and increasing demands for online services,
the number of data centers continues to grow throughout the world.1 As the need for
energy to support these data centers rises, the need to find and use efficient cooling
sources will also increase. Generating cooling on site using electricity from power
plants is less efficient than planning ahead and using more localized cooling sources.
To reach the energy saving goals, designers need to broaden their choices to find the
most beneficial options available. Using our natural resources in a more direct way
can bypass inefficient cooling steps.
The first deep lake water cooling system in the U.S.
started in 2000 in Ithaca, N.Y., and serves over 70 MW
of cooling. This system is presented here for lake water
use. A data center in Hamina, Finland, is reviewed for
using seawater. The potential efficiencies, comparisons
of savings of equipment and other advantages and
disadvantages are also illustrated. For data centers and
other critical facilities, the additional requirement to
meet higher reliability standards will also be evaluated.

Water Sources: Rivers, Lakes, Oceans
Water is the best medium for moving and rejecting
heat for most cooling and heat transfer applications.
Moving heat out of a data center is no different in this
regard and getting water closer to the heat source
improves the efficiency of the overall facility.2 Water
can move more heat per unit (gallon or liter) than most
other liquids, and is far more efficient than air systems.

Because of this, chilled water is often used to pull heat
from airstreams and water-cooled equipment. Water is
most dense at 39.2°F (3.98°C), which is the temperature
often found in deep lakes. Since about 3% of the water
on earth is fresh water that we use for irrigation and
consumption, alternate cooling systems should be
considered that operate with salt water and other nonpotable water sources to conserve this resource.
Alternate cooling systems offer several benefits
including reduced consumption of potable water,
reduced space for equipment, and eliminating noise
and potential biohazard outbreaks that are associated
with cooling towers or similar systems. Refrigerant
volume is also reduced or eliminated, and there are
lower needs for protection from weather degradation,
vandalism, as well as protecting operating personnel
from hazardous space conditions.

John Peterson, P.E., is a mission critical program manager at AECOM and a member of ASHRAE TC 9.09, Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces and Electronic
Equipment.
24

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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - November 2019

Contents
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Intro
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover1
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 3
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 4
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 6
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 8
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 16
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 18
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 26
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 34
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 44
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 50
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 51
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 52
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 53
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 56
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 61
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - 68
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ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - November 2019 - Cover4
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