Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been using lake water to cool down the servers at its data center beside Qiandao Lake in east China's Zhejiang Province.
The water is piped up from 35 meters below the lake surface. The average temperature in this area is 17 degrees Celsius, with deep water temperature perennially stable, according to research results of Alibaba.
The move could help the center, launched on Tuesday, use 80 percent less electricity in the cooling process, according sources with Alibaba.
Compared with ordinary data centers, this center is expected to save tens of millions of kilowatt hours of electricity annually, said Wang Jian, chief technology officer of Alibaba.
After cooling the servers, the water passes through a 2.5-km stream and a fountain, cools off, and then returns to the lake.
With the fast development of cloud computing, there is likely to be an ever greater strain on data centers' electricity consumption, especially in summer, when electricity demand in big cities increases.