17 Sep Floating Data Centers Are on the Rise
Whether you call them tidal-powered, water-powered, or simply floating data centers the fact is, they are being utilized more than ever.
Efficiency in Floating Data Centers
According to CB Insights, data centers are in demand because “over 175 zettabytes of data can be expected by 2025.” ( In congruence with the population growing every day, land and energy need to be conserved as much as possible. The trend of floating data centers will save precious land area by utilizing lakes and oceans. The most common way to cool the data processing centers currently is with air-based efforts; however, becoming more common and more energy-preserving is utilizing liquid cooling.
In a recent GeoTel article, sustainable solutions to data centers were discussed. The two main sources mentioned in that article were wind-powered and solar-powered renewable energies. Another trend in energy preservation and data processing are floating data centers. These structures are coined floating due to the fact they will be located on various bodies of water.
Limerick Docks, Ireland can expect its first center that will implement cooling by water. The over $43-million project was first proposed by Nautilus Data Centers in 2018. One benefit that Limerick can expect to see with this construction is 100 people will be needed to build the structure and it will create 24 long-term jobs to run the data center. Ireland will still want to see more developments like these. By the year 2027, the Irish Academy of Engineers is expecting 31% of demand to be derived from data centers.
Between the mainland of Scotland and the Orkney Islands, a new company that focuses on green power, Simec Atlantis Energy is planning what they call a tidal-powered data center. The proposed data center will benefit from the naturally cool temperatures of the region and current fiber optic submarine cables and landings. These undersea connections in the area are extremely reliable and reach various areas in the US, Europe, and London. The company’s CEO, Tim Cornelius, believes that Scotland has the potential to become the central hub for data centers and assist in the total decarbonization of the telecom sector.
Keppel Data Centres is also hopping on this new trend and developing a floating data center in land-constrained Singapore. The city-state is a tiny island where land is in short supply. The government of Singapore is desperate to grow its digital infrastructure, but they also have extremely tight controls on land use. This is precisely why water-based structures will be so promising for the area. The floating data center will be located offshore in the Singapore Strait.
Data centers are an essential asset of the worldwide telecommunications infrastructure. The amount of daily data that is used, processed, stored would be impossible without these special processing structures. In the past, these hubs would need extensive urban planning, permitting, and energy. With a push towards floating data centers, a lot of the previous issues can be resolved.
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Author: Valerie Stephen