[Beowulf] More about those underwater data centers

Lux, Jim (337K) James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Nov 5 10:34:37 PST 2018

The environment some 10s of meters submerged is significantly more benign than the coast – no waves, howling winds, crashing surf, etc.   Once you solved the packaging problem (once), you’ve got a nice module you can replicate and deploy as needed.   On land, you need to pay rent, deal with visual obstructions, etc.

Here in California, it would probably be significantly easier to sink something a km offshore than to put it on shore. The “onshore” facilities would just be a fairly innocuous cabling head end.  To “build” anything close to the shore (within sight) would require substantial planning permission, regulatory compliance, etc.

I’m not sure what sort of permissions you’d actually need for the submerged data center.  Probably something from the Fisheries folks to ensure you’re not disturbing the wildlife. You’d have to deal with an environmental impact report for the shore facility, but that might be straightforward.

Jim Lux
(818)354-2075 (office)
(818)395-2714 (cell)

From: Beowulf [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Stu Midgley
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2018 3:03 AM
To: Jonathan Aquilina <jaquilina at eagleeyet.net>
Cc: Beowulf List <beowulf at beowulf.org>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] More about those underwater data centers

As far as I can tell, they are just using the salt water to reject the heat to.  How they get the heat from the cpu/hot bits to the water is not clearly stated...

A passive heat exchanger would make energy sense... but would cost a bomb in engineering...  maybe direct fluid cooling (asetek) with a heat-exchanger to the salt water?

Either way, its stupid.  They could just easily pump the cool salt water from the ocean into a DC, reject heat to it using the same methods... and pump it back to the ocean.  Since no real delta in height, it would be efficient in energy.

OR... just use a boat...

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