Google will use industrial water from surface water to cool the servers in its data center in Eemshaven . This is now possible thanks to the construction of a new industrial water treatment plant and new transport pipelines by the Groningen Water Company and North Water, supported by Google with an investment of more than 45 million euros. The new water pipeline enables Google and other companies in the region to operate even more sustainably. As a next step, they will investigate how they can treat and use wastewater to cool the data center.
Google is constantly striving to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations and help people everywhere live more sustainably. This has been part of Google’s DNA since it was founded in 1998. And after reaching a milestone, they also wonder, “what else can we do?”
After becoming CO2 neutral in 2007, Google’s goal in the Netherlands is to match 100% of electricity consumption with renewable energy. They have achieved that goal every year since 2017. They are the first major company to commit to using 24/7 CO2-free energy in all data centers and offices by 2030. And that includes: searching for the most sustainable solutions when it comes to cooling the data centers.
Water to cool servers
“In our data center in Eemshaven. we use water to regulate the temperature of the equipment and servers. Thanks to this innovation, we use much less energy. The water capacity to dissipate heat is up to 24 times higher than air, which means that significantly less energy is used. We ensure that our water use is done responsibly, using two forms of water cooling: closed systems and open systems. In the closed system, the water circulates as often as possible through pipes with a continuous flow. The open system uses cooling towers to lower the temperature of the closed system. By using these recirculating cooling systems, we can reduce water consumption by more than 50% compared to the alternative method of one-time cooling.”
New water supply
In the past five years they have collaborated with North Water and Waterbedrijf Groningen and invested more than 45 million euros to support the construction of the new industrial water supply. During the construction of the new water pipe for industrial water, Groningen Water Company also installed a new drinking water pipe along largely the same route. This realization is the result of a collaboration between several parties to not only optimize the supply of a sustainable industrial water source, but also to increase the drinking water capacity in the region through a synergy of projects that all use the same pipeline route.