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green design, eco design, sustainable design, Arctic Circle, Facebook, server farm, Lulea, Sweden, Lulea River, hydroelectric power, waste heat

All of our writing on walls, status updates and pokes cause Facebook’s busy servers to work hard- and produce a lot of excess heat. Most server farms must also include complicated – and expensive – air conditioning systems to prevent self combustion from over heating! So relocating a server farm to cooler temperatures makes a lot of sense as it helps to naturally alleviate waste heat. Since Facebook has become such a giant worldwide conglomerate, their server farms which span 175,000 square feet over three buildings are nothing to laugh at.  To run the Arctic air cooling system will cost a cool $75 million a year so one can only imagine how much the cost would be in a warmer climate! The Swedish server farm will also enjoy the benefits of the nearby Luleå River, which provides green and affordable hydro-electric power.

Luleå is in Northern Sweden, and borders the Arctic Circle by under 100 miles. It is as close to the North Pole as Siberia, and averages a chilly 35 degrees Fahrenheit year round.  The giant data center could easily be cooled naturally with fans and its proximity to such frigid weather makes the process a whole lot more efficient. One thing that we should mention though is that the farm will be producing a lot of warmer air, which probably won’t be enough to have an impact on climate change on the Arctic tundra, but if other businesses become attracted to the area, it may be something to monitor.