Google Cools Taiwan Data Center With ‘Thermal Batteries’

Google will cool its Taiwan data center with ice batteries. Image: Bob.Fornal/Flickr

As part of its ongoing effort to save power and cost in its custom-built data centers, Google will cool the servers in its new Taiwan computing facility using a technique known as thermal energy storage. With this technique, the company can run its air conditioning systems at night when electricity rates are lower, cooling insulated tanks filed with ice or liquid coolant that can then be used to dissipate heat in data centers when ambient temperatures rise during the day.

On Tuesday, Focus Taiwan reported thermal energy storage is a particularly attractive way of cooling the search giant’s new facility because higher electricity rates may be on the way in Taiwan. Many describe the technique as a kind of thermal “battery,” where cold is stored for later use.

Google has a long history of using cutting-edge techniques to cool its data centers. In western Georgia, the company is cooling a data center using recycled sewage water, reducing the strain on the county’s potable water system. And in Finland, Google has converted an abandoned paper mill into a data center, using water from the Baltic Sea to cool its servers.

The new Taiwan data center is one of three facilities Google is building in Asia. Speaking with Data Center Knowledge reports, Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng said that the company’s thermal storage energy — while not a revolutionary technique — will be the first of its kind to be used at a Google data center.

Focus Taiwan reports that there has been speculation in the area that the Taiwanese government will soon raise electricity rates. On Sunday, the Taipai Times reported that Taiwan’s Ministery of Economics had scrapped plans to keep gasoline prices low.

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