Nope, James Cameron won’t be making a blockbuster about this one day. The sinking of its data center into the sea off Scotland’s Orkney Islands was intentional, reports the BBC. Microsoft wants to see if submerging data centers into oceans can make them more energy efficient. All data centers have servers that generate massive amounts of heat, requiring even more machinery to keep them cool and running. If by submerging a data center in the sea keeps them cooler than having them in a land-based warehouse, it means less energy will be required to keep the data centers cool, reducing their ecological impact.
The project has been dubbed Project Natick, and Ben Cutler, who is heading Natick for Microsoft, has high hopes for it:
“We think we actually get much better cooling underwater than on land. Additionally, because there are no people, we can take all the oxygen and most of the water vapour out of the atmosphere which reduces corrosion, which is a significant problem in data centres.”
Project Natick will stay submerged for five years if all goes to plan.