Unique, sustainable design proves adaptability during deadly, record-breaking temperatures
PORTLAND, Ore. — June 26-29 of this year, delivered a four-day, record-breaking heat blast to the normally temperate Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. The temperatures broke all-time high records across the region, pushing Portland’s average high of 112 degrees Fahrenheit to an all-time high of 116 with 13% humidity. While roads physically cracked, and public transit cables melted, 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,” said Ken Patchett, CEO, ServerDomes. “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. Typically, the dome normally only needs free air cooling, but when outside temperatures are high, it utilizes adiabatic cooling. Meaning, the cooling effect from liquid evaporation cooled the air — unlike traditional data centers that rely on air conditioners, chillers and compressors.
The result: ServerDomes’ free air cooling design meant this extreme heat wave had little to no impact on the data center.
The metrics captured during the extreme heat event is pivotal for the Company, and also for the data center industry. The extreme temperature event broke new ground in the drive for data center sustainability — while not compromising reliability. It also illuminated the reality of climate change.
“This isn’t just a ‘win’ for the ServerDomes’ design, it’s also 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.
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.