Google’s Big Green Credentials Thanks To A Little Green Pump


The cooling system at one of Google’s latest data centres, in the Finnish town of Hamina, has gained praise from Greenpeace for its green credentials. High performance pumps from a German manufacturer have been installed to cool the servers in the 9,000m2 complex, giving Google a considerable green advantage.

When Greenpeace said: “Google retains its leading position in building a green Internet”, it may not have realised that one of the big contributory factors to this was the pumps installed by German manufacturer Wilo. The pumps are from the CronoLine-IL series, which are not only green in colour, but also energy efficient and reliable.

In its latest Clicking Clean report, Greenpeace examines the environmental footprint of 300 of the largest data centres worldwide. Unlike many well known Internet companies who look only at the lowest electricity prices when making decisions, Google chose to set up its data centre in an eco-friendly way. The company has set the long term goal of using only renewable energies for its data centres. It is also making efforts to increase energy efficiency in those centres, especially for the energy intensive cooling of the servers.

When it came to choosing where to locate its newest data centre for Europe in Hamina, Finland, the decisive factor was not the electricity price, but rather the low average temperature of 2°C and the location’s proximity to the Finnish sea. There, server cooling is done using cold seawater, saving energy in the process. In addition, the Wilo CronoLine-IL pumps play a crucial role in making a main node on the global data highway economical and eco-friendly.

Wilo's CronoLine-IL pump.
Wilo’s CronoLine-IL pump

In 2011, the electricity requirement for data centres worldwide stood at 684 billion kWh. For comparison, the whole of Germany consumed around 607 billion kWh in the same year. According to forecasts, energy consumption is expected to increase by 63% by 2020, driven by cloud computing. Today, 22% of energy consumption in data centres is attributed to cooling. Water cooling through the use of natural resources, as in Hamina, is therefore a vital strategy for improving efficiency. In addition, efficiency criteria are also set high for the pumps used to convey cooling water in the data centre, which is clear from the specifications of the Wilo CronoLine-IL pumps used there.

Digitalisation in companies is progressing at a rapid rate and, at the same time, energy resources are becoming increasingly scarce. This makes green IT ever more important, according to Wilo SE’s senior vice president of its Group Information Management, Sven Prochowski.

The IT company, Cisco, shares this opinion and forecasts a massive growth in Internet usage by 2020: In 2015, 40% of the world’s population had access to Internet; this figure will certainly increase to 52% by 2020. At the same time, technological advancement will enable ever larger amounts of data to be transported. In 2015, a user transferred on average 9.9GB of data per month, but this figure is set to exceed 25GB by 2020 – a 150% increase.

Markus Beukenberg, chief technology officer of Wilo SE, says: “Computer technology is making great leaps and this is evident to most people in their daily lives. Behind the scenes, however, pump technology, which is perceived as a conventional technology, is playing a very important role as well in terms of combining energy efficiency and global networking and Wilo is contributing to this through its research and development work.”