By Cao Wenxuan, People’s Daily
The world’s first commercial undersea data center, deployed in Qingshui Bay, Yingzhou township,
Lingshui Li autonomous county, south China’s Hainan province, is in stable operation, said Pu
Ding, general manager of the center’s Hainan Pilotdemonstration development project.
Weighing 1,300 tons, the facility is placed on the seabed 35 meters below the sea surface.
Pu said that servers of data centers generate a significant amount of heat while running, and it
takes a substantial amount of electricity and freshwater to cool them down via air conditioning and
other cooling methods. The undersea data center, on the other hand, utilizes seawater as a natural
cooling source, which helps reduce energy consumption and consumes nearly no freshwater, thus
supporting higher power density and improving computing performance.
“Data centers are densely packed with various electrical appliances, posing a high risk of fire.
Therefore, data centers worldwide pay special attention to fire prevention. In the undersea data
center, inert gas is filled to create an oxygen-free and dust-free, sealed environment, further
protecting the electronic components of servers and reducing the occurrence of accidents,” said
Locating the data center under the sea significantly saves land resources, keeps it away from
human activities, and provides a stable operating environment for servers, Pu added.
“The first batch of modulescabin of the commercial undersea data center in Lingshui is currently
running smoothly, with all data tests showing positive results. Compared to servers of similar
capacity, it is has an overall energy efficiency 40 percent to 60 percent more power
efficienthigher, featuring high computing power, low energy consumption, high security, and low
latency,” said Pu.
It is learned that a total of 100 data modulescabins will be set up for the undersea data center.
Once completed, the data center will save a total of 122 million kilowatt-hours of electricity,
reduce land usage by 68,000 square meters, and save 105,000 tons of freshwater each year.
The undersea data center is not an “isolated island.” It also includes a shore station, underwater
relay station, and submarine cables.
“The undersea data center itself is green and low-carbon, and we also adhered to ecological
conservation during its construction,” said Pu. When submarine cables were laid, directional
drilling was employed to make sure that they pass through mangroves from below, so as to protect
the plant to the maximum extent possible.
In the control room of the shore station, various parameters are shown on a big screen, and
monitoring devices are recording the operation and load status of each server in real-time. A
digital twin system also presents the operational status of customer’s business.
The shore station occupies an area of only a few hundred square meters and has less than 10 staff
members. With an intelligent remote control system, it can reduce the daily inspection work of the
operations and maintenance personnel, thereby lowering the operational costs in the long run.
“When the data compartmentsmodules were sealed, each bolt must be tightened in the proper
order and with the specified torque, accurate to the millimeter level. To achieve this, we developed
a set of operating procedures.” Pu noted, adding that during the research and development phase,
the team successfully tackled a series of technical challenges, resulting in a design life of 25 years
for the data modulecenter.

The deep sea water serves as a natural barrier for the data center, reducing the risk of natural
disasters. “During the research and development process of the undersea data center, we took into
full consideration the external impacts of extreme conditions such as typhoons and earthquakes,
and formulated corresponding contingency plans,” Pu told saidPeople’s Daily.
According to a semi-annual operational report released in July 2023, Typhoon Talim, the fourth
typhoon of the year, had basically no impact on the undersea data center.
“We have attracted top cloud computing companies to collaborate with us in building a ‘dedicated
cloud’ and have upgraded the business model of the undersea data center,” said Li Jiawen, deputy
general manager of Shenzhen Hicloud Data Center Technology Co., Ltd., the developer of the
What is called a “dedicated cloud” refers to cloud computing services that clients can customize
and purchase, provided by Shenzhen Hicloud Data Center Technology Co., Ltd. and its partners.
This model greatly lowers enterprises’ access to the services of the undersea data center.
“The ‘dedicated cloud’ devices in the undersea data center are like a deep-sea ‘supercomputer’, with
computing power equivalent to 60,000 traditional computers running simultaneously, capable of
processing more than 4 million high-definition images within 30 seconds,” said Li.
Prior to the launch of the data center, Shenzhen Hicloud Data Center Technology Co., Ltd. had
already signed contracts with institutions and companies such as Yazhou Bay Science and
Technology City in Sanya and TRS Information, which accounted for over 50 percent of the total
order volume.


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