liquid nitrogen cooling a possibility?

Robert G. Brown rgb at
Mon Jun 18 14:11:59 PDT 2001

On Mon, 18 Jun 2001, Steve Wickert wrote:

> Please, no oozing, oily packages ;-)

Oh, Alaska is OK and (free) cool dry AIR is DEFINITELY ok;-)

I'd be interested in the routing and bandwidth issues (if any)
associated with an Alaska-based data center serving East-coast
businesses.  West too, actually.  I count 18-20 hops to e.g. the
University of Alaska at Fairbanks from Duke, with a ping time of around
150-200 msec (vs a typical value of 50-60 for harvard or clemson and
25-30 for a ping to e.g. 8 miles away).

A fabulously cheap-to-run air-cooled server cluster isn't going to be
very useful if its servers are bottlenecked at any of 16-20 intermediate
network hops.  Network topology and distance matter.

Probably be good for Silicon Valley businesses, but if it were TOO good
(i.e. profitable) somebody would just stick a heat exchanger into the
water off of California and use it to cool air and provide the service


> >From the LA Times, "Alaska May Get Data Storage Center"
>          Much of the energy consumed by data centers is needed to cool the buildings to keep the
>          equipment from overheating. Backers of the Netricity project say the North Slope's cold
>          temperatures and dry air make it a perfect environment for a server farm and its isolation provides
>          security.
>               Heat from the servers, together with waste heat from the power plant, could be used to warm the
>          building. Any cost of heating would be minimal compared to cooling in the south, Dodson said.
> Steve Wickert
> Protein Pathways
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Robert G. Brown	             
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at

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