In an effort to find out whether how energy efficiency can be increased, scientists have sunk a data center into the sea off Orkney. With the capacity to stay submerged for up to five years, the data center is a set of computers contained in a cylinder which will be powered by an undersea cable which will also transmit the data from the center back to the shore and into mainstream internet. Being renowned as a hotspot for research on renewable energy, Orkney made the cut for the project.
This is being done to test whether placing the computers underwater can save expenditure on cooling them. Moreover, the data center will be completely devoid of humans so they will be able to eliminate all the oxygen and water vapor, thereby, reducing the amount of corrosion which currently poses a big problem. There are disadvantages as well which include the inability to repair any computers should they fail due to the absence of humans, but scientists are counting on the fact that the environment they are put in will reduce the amount of failures.
Based on the success of this operation, called Project Natick, scientists will decide whether to deploy more data centers in similar environments in a group of five. This will save them a lot of time as a similar setup on land takes years to be functional.
A lot of hard work has gone into the execution of this project with more than one country involved. The biggest and perhaps the most important member of the group is the European Marine Energy Centre which has a lot of experience in dealing with renewable energy and the location itself. The idea might actually be a game changer as almost half the population on the planet lives near the coast and data storage of this nature is beneficial in more ways than one. How effective it actually is in the long run will be found out pretty soon.