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Old 08-21-2016, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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There is a new trend in building gigantic data centers in extremely cold climates to save on cooling costs. Data centers have so many machines that the biggest cost is running A/C to cool them. In cold climates they can just pump in outside air to do so.

My question is if any companies are taking advantage of Canada's cold climate and abundant hydroelectric power by building data centers? A natural candidate would be northern Quebec where there are tons of hydroelectric plants and a bitter cold climate.

Data Center Operators Flock To Cold Climates | Network Computing
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:24 AM
 
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Any savings a company might derive from the cool temps of northern Quebec will be erased by high taxes and a stifling bureaucracy.
Some reading on the issue if your business is thinking of relocating.
https://www.google.ca/search?site=&s...k1.TxYxuapfhSU
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Old 08-21-2016, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Why cold Canada is becoming a hot spot for data centres - The Globe and Mail
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Old 08-21-2016, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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I see this as a joke, not to be taken seriously.


The computers might like it to be cold , but the humans won't.


Jim b.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
I see this as a joke, not to be taken seriously.
Same here.

Though to be charitable, I can see it as a misunderstanding by non-Canadians who think that we're a land of ice and snow year-round. Which we're not, of course--heck, I can remember enjoying my morning coffee and newspaper at an outdoor cafe in Yellowknife, NWT, one summer. In a T-shirt; no jacket required. Yellowknife winters can get very cold, but their summers, while short, are really quite pleasant. In my walks through town, it appeared that some homeowners enjoyed flower-gardening just as much as we do in southern Canada.

To get year-round below-zero cold temps for your server farm, you'd have to go so far north that building the infrastructure to transmit the data would be cost-prohibitive, it seems to me.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
I see this as a joke, not to be taken seriously.


The computers might like it to be cold , but the humans won't.


Jim b.
But then why are Microsoft and other companies building in Norway and other cold countries?
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Same here.

Though to be charitable, I can see it as a misunderstanding by non-Canadians who think that we're a land of ice and snow year-round. Which we're not, of course--heck, I can remember enjoying my morning coffee and newspaper at an outdoor cafe in Yellowknife, NWT, one summer. In a T-shirt; no jacket required. Yellowknife winters can get very cold, but their summers, while short, are really quite pleasant. In my walks through town, it appeared that some homeowners enjoyed flower-gardening just as much as we do in southern Canada.

To get year-round below-zero cold temps for your server farm, you'd have to go so far north that building the infrastructure to transmit the data would be cost-prohibitive, it seems to me.
You don't need sub zero temperatures for a data server farm. You just need temps where the outside ambient temperature doesn't require A/C. So even if it's in the 50's/60's at night you can pull in outside air. Then if it does occasionally get warm as long as it doesn't get warm and humid you can use evaporative cooling. They use this in the high desert of Oregon where it can get hot but it's a dry heat so evaporative cooling works great in the arid environment.

So a place like Yellowknife would indeed be a great place for a data center. Cold most of the year and when it does get hot, it's a dry heat so you can use evaporative cooling.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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That article references Barrie, Ontario as a favored spot, just a bit north of Toronto. I would think that even Vancouver would have more favorable conditions than that for a data center as I bet Barrie gets hot and humid occasionally?
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Originally Posted by cBach View Post
That article references Barrie, Ontario as a favored spot, just a bit north of Toronto.
Question for you, cBach: have you ever been to Barrie, Ontario? Six months of stifling heat and humidity, where AC is required. Minneapolis, which is much farther north, would be a better choice. Or Bismark, North Dakota; again farther north. Heck, why not go for Great Falls, Montana--farther north than Barrie, a dry climate, and severe winters. Yet even north of that, in Lethbridge, Alberta, many homes have AC. Summers are that hot. Today, for example, Lethbridge hit 30C (86F).

Don't get me wrong--I'd like to see the dollars pumped into the Canadian economy that these projects might bring. But there has to be a realistic component to the scheme. If some non-Canadian approached me, and asked me to invest in a scheme to put a server farm in Barrie, Ontario, "because it's Canada and constantly cold," I'd laugh in his face.

I lived for years in southern Ontario, where (in summer) temps were in the 90s every day, and went down to the mid-80s at night, and went up into the 90s the next day, and you're suggesting Barrie as a cold place? You might want to do some field research, such as visiting Barrie in July. I certainly have, and I can attest that it is nowhere near cold. It is hot, muggy, and uncomfortable. You need AC in Barrie in, at the very least, May, June, July, and August. And a bit of September.

Last edited by ChevySpoons; 08-21-2016 at 10:13 PM..
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
10,789 posts, read 9,425,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Question for you, cBach: have you ever been to Barrie, Ontario? Six months of stifling heat and humidity, where AC is required. Minneapolis, which is much farther north, would be a better choice. Or Bismark, North Dakota; again farther north. Heck, why not go for Great Falls, Montana--farther north than Barrie, a dry climate, and severe winters. Yet even north of that, in Lethbridge, Alberta, many homes have AC. Summers are that hot. Today, for example, Lethbridge hit 30C (86F).

Don't get me wrong--I'd like to see the dollars pumped into the Canadian economy that these projects might bring. But there has to be a realistic component to the scheme. If some non-Canadian approached me, and asked me to invest in a scheme to put a server farm in Barrie, Ontario, "because it's Canada and constantly cold," I'd laugh in his face.

I lived for years in southern Ontario, where (in summer) temps were in the 90s every day, and went down to the mid-80s at night, and went up into the 90s the next day, and you're suggesting Barrie as a cold place? You might want to do some field research, such as visiting Barrie in July. I certainly have, and I can attest that it is nowhere near cold. It is hot, muggy, and uncomfortable. You need AC in Barrie in, at the very least, May, June, July, and August. And a bit of September.
Did you even read what I said? I said I questioned whether Barrie was a good location as a choice because it is too humid. I said I think Vancouver would be a better choice. It's obvious you didn't read my post.

A good choice would be Sept-Iles if I had to pick a city. Cold climate with cool summers and very close to hydroelectric.
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