Fact or Fiction #117 Nov 21
Data Centres use millions of litres of water every day!
Some Data Centres use evaporative cooling techniques which require water usage when turned on. However using this technique, the evaporative system is only turned on when the external ambient air temperature is very high and above the recommended server air intake temperature required within the facility.
For Ireland’s temperate climate, the water consumption using the evaporative technique can be conservatively estimated at 2-3% of the year. For the remainder of the year (i.e. 97-98%), there is zero water consumption in the Data Centre with direct/indirect air-only cooling the facility. To offset the water usage from the public water main for the 2-3% of the year that water is required for evaporative cooling, rainwater is normally harvested on-site for cooling. Additionally, local wells and/or treated greywater can be used for the process to limit usage on the public water mains when evaporative cooling is turned on.
Finally, Data Centres can be designed without evaporative cooling techniques and have zero water consumption for the whole year using closed-loop designs with free cooling technologies.