The country's first undersea big data center – known as a UDC – was officially launched at a ceremony in Gaolan port in the Zhuhai special economic zone of Guangdong province on Sunday.
The UDC was developed by Beijing Highlander Digital Technology Co, a company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and Guangzhou Shipyard International Co, a company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The two companies completed construction of the UDC late last year and carried out underwater testing, said Xu Tan, vice-president of Highlander.
Currently, big data centers are mainly built for use on land. Annual economic volume of those centers exceeds 300 billion yuan ($46.15 billion).
But big data centers on land usually take up a lot of space, and their heavy cooling requirements mean they consume a lot of power and water resources.
"Project UDC" intends to install internet facilities, including servers, in sealed pressurized vessels with advanced cooling functions, Xu said.
The UDC uses a large amount of flowing seawater to cool the electronics through a heat exchanger, which saves energy over conventional cooling methods.
"The UDC occupies very little land on shore, has no cooling towers and does not consume fresh water. It not only accommodates ecological activities such as marine ranching and fishing cages but also supports other industrial activities, such as offshore wind power and oil platforms," Xu said.
A UDC in the waters near coastal cities significantly shortens the distance between data and users. It doesn't require land, and it saves energy. It is a completely green and sustainable big data center solution, Xu said.