Buried deep underneath the mountains near Stavanger, Norway, the Green Mountain Data Center is quite possibly the greenest data center in the world. Powered by renewable energy from nearby sources and cooled with water from the adjacent fjord, the cavernous data center is all about energy efficiency. The center dramatically reduces its cooling costs and energy use by tapping into the 8 degree Celsius water from the fjord.
Green Mountain Data Center has about 21,000 sq meters of floor space inside the mountain. This includes facilities for administration, warehousing, a quay, and 9 halls to house data servers. As servers pump out of a lot of heat while storing and processing digital data, a powerful cooling system is needed to keep them from overheating. A number of data centers around the world are working towards more energy efficient systems, but the Green Mountain Data Center may have hit upon a jackpot. First, the center is buried underground, which means it uses the earth and the surrounding rock as moderators. Then it uses water from the neighboring fjord in a closed loop ground water heat exchanger and the cold efficiently cools the underground space.
The center also sources all of its power from a number of very close renewable energy providers, which makes it totally carbon neutral. Combined with energy efficient design inside, the center is promoting itself as an environmentally friendly server farm. With a variety of close power sources nearby with a high level of redundancy, the farm is also promising a 99.9997% availability. Most of the data center’s business will come locally from Norway, but they may also attract clients from Europe and the US because of their eco-friendly offerings. Development of the mountain halls and server rooms is going on now and they expect to be up and running sometime in late 2012.
Images ©Green Mountain Data Center