[Beowulf] Underwater data centers -- the future?

Tim Cutts tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Fri Sep 9 04:20:00 PDT 2016

1. We already do this for nuclear and other power stations.  I remember visiting Fawley, an old oil fired power station in the UK, back in about 1982.  Its cooling water was taken from and returned to the Solent.  The increased temperature of the water made it ideal for growing oysters, and a commercial oyster farm was set up around the water outlet.  Presumably now defunct, since oil fired electricity generation hasn't been economical since 1974…
2. Surely, we heat up the oceans regardless of whether it's directly by cooling with the sea or indirectly by cooling in air, and atmospheric warming slowly warming the oceans.  Ultimately it will all come to equilibrium (with possible disastrous consequences) whichever way we do it.  There was quite a nice point made in the late David MacKay's book pointing out that  it doesn't really matter even if we found an abundant source of almost free energy; the atmosphere still has a finite surface area from which to radiate the waste heat to space, which imposes a significant upper limit on how much power the human race can safely use.


Head of Scientific Computing

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

On 07/09/2016, 15:06, "Beowulf on behalf of Andrew Leahy" <beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org on behalf of aleahy at knox.edu> wrote:

Listening in on the heated discussion of immersive cooling while I was 
sitting on the shores of Lake Superior this summer, I was reminded of a 
recent NYT article on Microsoft's Project Natick:


The idea is that you circumvent the cooling problem altogether by 
dumping data centers in the ocean.  I'm curious if anybody has crunched 
the numbers on this idea to see if it makes sense, just from a cooling 

Andrew Leahy

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at beowulf.org sponsored by Penguin Computing
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit http://www.beowulf.org/mailman/listinfo/beowulf

More information about the Beowulf mailing list