Chillerless Data Center at 95F

This is 100% the right answer: Microsoft’s Chiller-less Data Center. The Microsoft Dublin data center has three design features I love: 1) they are running evaporative cooling, 2) they are using free-air cooling (air-side economization), and 3) they run up to 95F and avoid the use of chillers entirely. All three of these techniques were covered in the best practices talk I gave at the Google Data Center Efficiency Conference (presentation, video).

Other blog entries on high temperature data center operation:

· Next Point of Server Differentiation: Efficiency at Very High Temperature

· Costs of Higher Temperature Data Centers?

· 32C (90F) in the Data Center

Microsoft General Manager of Infrastructure Services Arne Josefsberg blog entry on the Dublin facility:

In a secretive industry like ours, it’s good to see a public example of a high-scale data center running hot and without chillers. Good work Microsoft.


James Hamilton



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2 comments on “Chillerless Data Center at 95F
  1. It’ll absolutely work well in a small center. In fact most of the large center designs are made of rooms or pods each of which is considerably smaller than a datacenter. 60kw is fairly small but I see no reasons why you couldn’t do it at that scale. Intel did something along that scale with this containerized experiment: //

    James Hamilton

  2. Rex says:


    Any reasons you can think of that high-temp designs won’t work on smaller data centers or server rooms?

    I’m about to start designing a 60 KW server room, under intense pressure to cut operating costs. We’re on the central California cost where outdoor temps rarely rise above 95 F and water shortages are a constant problem. I’m thinking free air cooling plus enough DX cooling to bring the temp below 90 F on those rare hot afternoons.

    Good designs for smaller data centers and server rooms might save a significant amount of energy, money, and CO2.

    — Rex

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