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HP's New Data Center First to Use Wind for Cooling

Hewlett Packard's newest data center, a 360,000 square foot facility in Wynyard, England, makes good use of its location in Old Blighty: The company has designed it to use only the cold air blowing in off the North Sea to cool the building.

The data center is HP's most energy-efficient yet; it has a PUE of about 1.2 all told, and if you look only at the computing space (as opposed to the 20,000 square feet of office space), the PUE drops to 1.16.

Here are some more details, as reported by IDG News's Jeremy Kirk:

The building sits in a blustery and chilly area about eight miles west of the North Sea in the northeast of England. It is entirely air-cooled: HP has built eight 2.1-meter stainless steel and plastic intake fans to draw cool air.

The air runs through a massive bank of modular filters to remove dust and other contaminants before it circulates in a massive cavity, called a plenum, below its data center halls.

The air is forced up though the floor and runs over the front of server racks before being exhausted. The system keeps the hall at a constant 24C (75.2F). When it is cold outside, some of the exhausted heat is recirculated with the outside air to maintain the right temperature.

Despite running the server rooms at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, HP was required to install traditional chillers in the facility, since the temperature does rise above that threshold in Wynyard, even if only for about 20 hours per year.

Among the other interesting green aspects of the new data center: HP is using light-colored server racks, rather than the traditional black racks -- using racks that reflect light allows the company to save about 40 percent on its lighting needs. The facility is also harvesting rainwater to help keep the humidity of the facility at the right levels.

HP's unveiling of its new facility follows on other recent green data center news: Facebook last month announced plans for its own first-ever (green) data center, and IBM showcased its modular green data centers at Disneyland.

More details about HP's wind-cooled facility are online at

Photo CC-licensed by Flickr user

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