By Yevgeniy Sverdlik for Data Center Knowledge
Microsoft is using its data center construction project in Arizona as a showcase for both the company’s new focus on water conservation and the power of its HoloLens augmented reality hardware in combination with Azure.
Along with rolling out publicly an aggressive goal to put more fresh water back into the regions where it operates than its operations consume by 2030, the company officially announced the upcoming cloud region. The data centers are being constructed in Goodyear.
One of the companies retained to help with design and construction of the project is NOX Innovations, a construction project design and planning firm that uses software that blends CAD and BIM with augmented reality to streamline the design and construction process.
To reduce the facilities’ impact on the water supply in the Phoenix metro, Microsoft’s data centers will rely on adiabatic cooling. For about half the year, when outside air temperature is below 85F, the adiabatic system will ensure water-free cooling, the company’s engineers have estimated.
Microsoft is also investing in a large solar energy generation project in Arizona. Fossil energy generation consumes a lot of water, and by displacing fossil energy on the local grid, the future Sun Streams 2 photovoltaic power plant is expected to save 356 million liters of water annually, according to Microsoft.
To deliver on its commitment of “water-negative” operations by 2030, Microsoft said it will invest in a wide range of water conservation efforts in the regions where it has offices and data centers.
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