Marilyn Monroe inspires data center builders

Never thought that Marilyn Monroe with the iconic image in the film ‘The Seven Year Itch’, where Monroe is standing on a subway grate as her dress is blown above her knees by a passing train, would give inspiration to engineers to design a new type of data center.

Last week at the Data Centers Europe 2011 event in Nice, Nicolas Aubé from Marilyn Celeste, proposed a new concept of building a more energy efficient data center with optimal usage of space, especially in an urban environment.

Celeste is a French internet service provider. In the Marilyn project they designed a vertical data center with no technical floors and ceilings but just metal grid floors for up and down coming air. Air is contained by using cold and warm corridors where the corridors are joined one above each other to create air columns. Cold air pressure is put below the lowest floor and warm air is evacuated by the top depending on weather conditions. All the cables run on the top of racks. Power usage is to be measured in each of the 1200 power distribution cables so that users can be invoiced on their actual power consumption.

Monroe data center floor and aisle construction

There are three modus operandi.

  • Cold mode: if the outside temp is less than 23 C (80% of the time) then there is a 100% direct free cooling and hot air evacuation on the roof and heat recycling for offices.
  • Hot mode: if the outside temperature is more then 35 C or the air is very dry (5% of the time) then the air is 100% recycled and air conditioned.
  • Mixed mode: for the other cases a combination of outside air and air conditioning is used in combination with hot air evacuation.

All is to be managed by automatic air flow management.

Monroe data center airflow

Delivery of this facility, located at Cité Descartes (Paris) is estimated on september 2011.

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