Mauritius spearheads sea-cooled data centre

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Mauritius has employed the world's first seawater cooling technique for data centres as a renewable, sustainable alternative to traditional methods.

This comes with the emergence of innovative ways of providing sustainable sources of power and cooling to data centres, to save both energy and costs.

The country has invested in the seawater air conditioned (SWAC) data centre as part of its campaign to become an international data centre hub.

According to Mauritius' national investment promotion agency, the Board of Investment (BOI), the country can become a focal hub connecting Africa, Asia and the Middle East. A key part of this development is the ocean itself, and its potential to help data centre operators slash cooling costs.

The Mauritius Eco-Park developed the SWAC system as a cooling technique to support data centre tenants, says Raju Jaddoo, MD of BOI. “The new seawater cooling technique for data centres exploits the position of the island on the path of a deep sea current, through technologies and processes that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly,” he explains.

This temperature profile enables the project to utilise the concept of SWAC, he continues.

According to Jaddoo, the temperature of deep water samples is about five degrees at 1 000 metres below sea level, about 4 900 metres from the shore.

“This cold water will be piped back to the data centre complex and used in the facility's cooling system, eliminating the need for power-hungry chillers.” He says this technique uses 86% less power than when it used chillers.

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