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Google cools data center with waste water

When you flush the toilet at your home, you expect a certain chain of events to occur. Your plumbing takes it to the sewer, the sewer takes it to a water treatment plant and finally a magical filtering process makes the water safe for the environment. Right? Well Google has turned that on its head with the latest innovation in free cooling.

Taking its lead from Google Finland’s ingenuity, a Google facility in western Georgia is now diverting waste water to its own treatment facility and using that water to cool its data center. Wired Enterprise has a more in-depth look at how it was done.

not just for windowsills.Image by Andy Melton. Creative Commons License 2.0.

As we know, using the environment to cool your data center can help save money on costs, but Google says that’s not its main motivation. The benefits also include alleviating some strain on the local waste treatment facilities and ensuring enough drinkable water during times of drought.

Of course, Google isn’t the only company building creatively. Facebook’s Prineville, Ore. facility uses air from the surrounding area to cool its data center. Free cooling is all about creativity and putting good use to your data center’s natural surroundings. But this story about Google and wastewater brings up another good point: creatively cooled data centers might not just save money; they might actually help the environment!

How can you adapt free cooling in your data center? Location is important, but as this latest innovation proves, it’s not everything. It’s definitely something to ponder as energy costs rise and regulations get tighter.

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