Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

PacSci-Doku: “Heat Sink”

By Dennis Schatz – Senior Advisor

Do you Sudoku? It’s one of the hottest number games around! Well, here’s a twist we think you’ll love. We call it PacSci-Doku. Can you guess why? Here’s how it works. Instead of filling in the blanks with numbers, we use letters. Hidden in one of the columns or rows is the answer to a science question. You’ll find information about the answer on the answer tab below.

The question in this edition is:

Where might data centers be located to save on the cost of keeping them cool?

To find the answer, complete this PacSci-Doku using the following nine letters:

A  E  U  e  _  D  R  S  N

PacSci-Doku: Heat Sink

Puzzle Difficulty: Medium

The Answer

PacSci-Doku: Heat Sink

The question in this edition is:

There might data centers be located to save on the cost of keeping them cool?

The answer: Enceladus

As more and more people move photos and other data to and from “the cloud,” companies that run large data centers need to build new places to store this information. Keeping the equipment cool is one of the largest costs of running data centers. This usually requires large amounts of electricity, but Microsoft is exploring with using seawater to cool data centers. In its experiment, called Project Natick, Microsoft recently placed an eight-foot-diameter metal capsule 30 feet under the surface of the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Central California. The cold seawater keeps the equipment cool, thus saving the ongoing cost of electricity for this purpose. The 105 day experiment was so successful that Microsoft is now designing an underwater data center three times larger. Learn more about this creative effort to locate future data centers.