Too Hot for Humans, But Google Servers Keep Humming
By: Rich Miller
The Google data center in Belgium, which features no chillers and routes traffic to other facilities during hot spells.
Raising the temperature in server racks can make a data center more efficient. But what happens if the room gets too hot for people?
If you’re Google, the servers keep humming along while the humans retreat to climate-controlled sections of the building. That’s what’s been happening at Google’s data center in Belgium, which was the company’s first facility to rely entirely upon fresh air for cooling, instead of energy-hungry chillers. That aproach has helped the facility become Google’s most efficient data center.
For the vast majority of the year, the climate in Belgium is cool enough that this design works with no problems. When it gets hot in Belgium, the temperature inside Google’s data center warms beyond the facility’s desired operating range – periods that the company refers to as “excursion hours.”