Several Chinese companies have now begun constructing what they say will be the world’s first commercial data center submerged in the sea. The idea behind this is that the water surrounding the data center will cool down the computers inside, instead of them being cooled in other ways.
This is a huge project consisting of a hundred modules that will collectively have a capacity equivalent to 6 million PCs. It is believed that using seawater for cooling will save 122 kilowatt-hours compared to the energy that would have been used for cooling if the data center had been built on land. Around 2025, the companies, both state-owned and private, hope that the data center will be completed.
Microsoft has previously experimented with submerging data centers in water in what they called Project Natick. However, the latest of Microsoft’s offshore data center projects ended in 2020, and the company has so far not moved forward with building any commercial solutions based on this.