North-east of UK is ideal for server centre

The maker of printer ink, which costs more than human blood, has decided that the North-East of England is the best place in the world to house a server centre.

The new Wynyard centre, near Billingham, is supposed to be environmentally friendly and is the most energy efficient data centre that HP has built. The way it has done that is to use the unique conditions of the North-East to its advantage.

Normally the fact that a place is bloody miserable makes it unattractive for humans to live, but the data halls of a server centre find it an asset. The more rain and  the colder it gets the better the servers like it.

Maurice Julian, the UK facilities project director, said that half of the facility is now complete, comprising four data halls, with room to create four more data halls as demand dictates. The building sits in a blustery and chilly area about eight miles west of the North Sea in the northeast of England.

Rather than shut out the freezing North Sea air, HP sucks it in through eight 2.1-meter stainless steel and plastic intake fans.

The air runs through a massive bank of modular filters to remove dust, insects and half dead Billingham residents, and blasts them onto the server.

In Billingham, the outside temperature only rises above 24C for about 20 hours a year, on those special days when the local residents go outside to get a sun tan, the server centre has to switch to traditional cooling systems.