In Chun’an 淳安县, right on the Qiandao Lake 千岛湖 lies what is probably the greenest datacenter in the world. The e-commerce giant Alibaba Group finished developing a datacenter using natural water for cooling, being this the first of its kind in the asian country. Only about 150 km from their headquarters in Hangzhou 杭州市, this building pumps filtered water for server cooling, something that provides Aliyun 阿里云, their cloud division, free refrigeration 90% of the year, which reduces by 80% the overall cooling costs of the datacenter, impressive if you ask me.

 

 

According to Xinhua, the water is piped up from 35 meters below the lake surface. The average temperature in this area is 17 degrees Celsius, with deep water temperature perennially stable, according to research results of Alibaba.

Compared with ordinary datacenters, this one is expected to save tens of millions of kilowatt hours of electricity annually, said Wang Jian, chief technology officer of Alibaba.

After cooling the servers, the water passes through a 2.5-km stream and a fountain, cools off, and then returns to the lake.

 

Map showing the Datacenter and how the water flows

 

With the fast development of cloud computing, there is likely to be an ever greater strain on data centers’ electricity consumption, especially in summer, when electricity demand in big cities increases.