Historic Pacific Northwest Heatwave No Match for ServerDomes’ Data Center Design

Roads physically cracked. Public transit cables melted. But ServerDomes’ data center remained virtually unaffected.

Ingenious, sustainable design proves reliable during record-breaking temperatures

A record-breaking heat dome settled over the Pacific Northwest in June 0f 2021. Temperatures broke records across the entire region, pushing Portland to an all-time high of 116˚ fahrenheit with 13% humidity.

Roads physically cracked. Public transit cables melted. But ServerDomes’ data center near Portland, Oregon remained virtually unaffected.

“It’s one thing to know something will work from an engineering standpoint. It’s another to have a real-life situation with extreme temperatures and hard data,” says David Jackson, ServerDomes CEO. “The temperatures simulated highs in middle eastern countries. Our ServerDomes’ design not only maintained operations; it did so while consuming just a fraction of the energy a traditional data center would require.”

How the design delivered

ServerDomes’ data center had no equipment or infrastructure failures of any kind, and IT operations were not affected. Normally, the dome only needs free air cooling, but when outside temperatures are high, it utilizes something called adiabatic cooling, where liquid evaporation actually cools the air. This natural process is far more efficient than the air conditioners, chillers and compressors that traditional data centers rely on.

Thanks to this free air cooling design, the unprecedented heat wave had little to no impact on the Server Domes data center.

Industry impact

The searing heat did more than illumine the reality of climate change. Metrics captured during this historic heat event is pivotal for both Server Domes and the data center industry by breaking new ground in the drive for data center sustainability. And did it without compromising reliability.

“This isn’t just a ‘win’ for the ServerDomes’ design, it’s news that’s truly needed in our industry. Data centers consume roughly 200 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or nearly 1% of global electricity demand — and it’s increasing. It is an irrefutable proof point that change is not only needed, but possible,” said Chief Technology Officer, Frank Oliver, ServerDomes.

No additional operational efforts were deployed during the extreme temperatures. The dome, designed to be a “lights-out” facility, performed flawlessly and actually exceeded design expectations.

About ServerDomes

ServerDomes is a best-in-class, data center design company with a no-compromise approach to design, build, and operations. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, ServerDomes mission is to transform data centers by disseminating designs with superior efficiency and agility, scalability, and sustainability. For more information, visit ServerDomes.com.

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