Nautilus Data Center Keeps Cool During California Heat Wave

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The month of September brought all-time record heat temperatures to the state of California. With thermometers ringing in as high as 116F (46.7C) in Sacramento, the state’s capital, the grid is under strain, and even reports of Twitter shutting down made their way to the headlines. But it’s not just California – in July, the UK heatwave shut down Google and Oracle data centers.

In Stockton, CA, we saw the mercury tick up to the highest temperature ever recorded at 115 °F on September 6, 2022. In the spirit of transparency (one of our four core values), we wanted to let you know how our data center performed with such grueling temps.

Let’s evaluate the hottest part of this month

September 1 through 9. The average high came in at 107.8°F (42°C). With temperatures like that, it’s easy to understand why a traditional cooling system may not be able to keep up.

How did the Nautilus Stockton Data Center do?

Because of how our system works – using our water-cooling technology – we kept our data center up, running, and functioning as it should. We ran the data center exactly the same, and ambient temperatures averaged out at 82.9°F for that same time period (September 1-9), nearly 7° under the 89.6°F ASHRAE allowable standards.

But doesn’t the water get hot? 

We heard this question a few times and want to clear it up. Because the system is extracting water from a deeper depth, short-term temperature fluctuations in the environment have little impact on the water’s temperature coming into the facility. The reason the water isn’t impacted is the thermal absorption properties of water, the water flow/mixing rates, evaporative cooling, heat energy transfer to the underlying soil, and the fact that even when it is really hot during the day, it does cool down at night. Let’s take a look at how September’s water temperatures so far compared with June, July, and August:

And for your peace of mind, we like to operate with “environmental awesomeness” – a term one of our most recent customers coined. The Nautilus team worked collaboratively with federal, state, and local professionals responsible for environmental stewardship to secure all regulatory approvals needed to completely protect wildlife – we do this through extensive filtration measures, specialty screen intakes, and keeping the water clean from any additives.

Want to be a part of the solution? 

In California alone, we calculated the estimated water savings achieved from a statewide deployment of our water-cooling technology could total 14.83 million gallons per day.

We calculated this number with the approximate number of MWs in the state and then the newest data from the 2021 report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s estimate of the US data center’s direct onsite water consumption. We are keeping in mind this is an estimate that could be lower is there was a significant percent of data centers’ utilizing systems such as a fluid cooler or condenser with DX refrigerant.

1300 MW in CA[1] x 475.5 gallons per MW per hour[2] = 618,150 gallons per hour // 14.83 million gallons per day

And not to downplay direct water usage, but according to research, only one-fourth of the volumetric water footprint of data centers is due to onsite water usage.

Yet, more than 40% of the water scarcity footprint is attributed to direct water consumption. The direct water consumption of data centers, which occurs near the data center location, is higher in areas with less available water compared to its indirect water consumption. [2]

While the Eastern US faces little to no water stress on average, here in the Western US (CA) many of the watersheds exhibit high levels of water stress, which is exacerbated by data centers’ direct and indirect water demands.

Interested in a data center that doesn’t cause more water stress? Let’s talk.

[1] 451 Data center knowledgebase

[2] 1.8 liters of water per kWh > 1800 liters of water per MWh (475.5 gallons per MWh)

(LBNL report estimated that US data centers’s direct onsite water consumption is around 1.8 liters of water per kWh)

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Chad Romine

Chad Romine has over two decades of experience in technical and strategic business development. As Vice President of Business Development for Nautilus Data Technologies, Mr. Romine brings global connectivity to some of the most prominent global influencers in technology. Mr. Romine has led startups and under-performing companies to successful maturity built largely upon solid partnerships. Proven results in negotiating mutually beneficial strategic alliances and joint ventures. Outside of work, Chad has invested time fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Mr. Romine recently helped secure funding and led marketing for the completion of a new private University.

Ashley Sturm

Ashley Sturm is a marketing and strategy leader with more than 15 years of experience developing strategic marketing initiatives to increase brand affinity, shape the customer experience, and grow market share. As the Vice President of Marketing at Nautilus Data Technologies, Ashley is responsible for all global marketing initiatives; she integrates the corporate strategy, marketing, branding, and customer experience to best serve clients and produce real business results. Before joining Nautilus Data Technologies, she served as the Senior Director of Marketing Brand and Content for NTT Global Data Centers Americas, spearheading marketing efforts to open two out of six data center campuses. Prior to NTT, Ashley led global marketing through the startup of Vertiv’s Global Data Center Solutions business unit, where she developed the unit’s foundational messaging and established global and regional marketing teams. Ashley’s career experience includes extensive work with the US Navy through the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness as well as broadcast journalism. Ashley earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in converged media from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

Paul Royere

Paul Royere is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Nautilus Data Technologies. For more than twenty years, he has specialized in finance and administration leadership for emerging technology companies, guiding them through high growth commercialization. In addition to senior team roles guiding strategic business operations, Mr. Royere has directed cross-functional teams in implementing business support systems, designing and measuring business plan performance, leading pre/post-merger activities, and delivering requisite corporate, tax and audit compliance.

While at 365 Data Centers, Mr. Royere served as Vice President of Finance leading a multi-discipline restructuring in preparation for the successful sale of seventeen data centers. As Vice President and Corporate Controller at Reliance Globalcom, Royere led the finance and business support teams to and through the conversion from a privately held company to a subsidiary of an international public conglomerate.

Arnold Magcale

Arnold Magcale is founder and Chief Technology Officer of Nautilus Data Technologies. As a recognized leader and respected visionary in the technology industry, he specializes in data center infrastructure, high-availability networks, cloud design, and Software as a Service (SaaS) Technology.

While serving on the management team of Exodus Communications, he launched one of Silicon Valley’s first data centers. Mr. Magcale’s background includes executive positions at Motorola Mobility, where his team deployed the first global Droid devices, and LinkSource Technologies and The Quantum Capital Fund, serving as Chief Technology Officer. He was an early adopter and implementer of Cloud Computing and a member of the team at Danger, Inc., acquired by Microsoft.

Mr. Magcale had a distinguished ten year career in the United States Navy Special Forces. His military and maritime expertise provided the foundation for inventing the world’s first commercial waterborne data center.

Patrick Quirk

Patrick Quirk is a business and technology executive who specializes in operations management, strategic partnerships, and technology leadership in data center, telecommunications, software, and semiconductor markets. Prior to joining Nautilus, he spent the past year working with small businesses and non-profits on survival and growth strategies in addition to PE advisory roles for critical infrastructure acquisitions. Quirk was the President of Avocent Corp, a subsidiary of Vertiv, the Vice President and General Manager for the IT Systems business, and the VP/GM of Converged Systems at Emerson Network Power, providing data center management infrastructure for data center IT, power, and thermal management products. He has held numerous global leadership roles in startups and large multinational companies including LSI and Motorola in the networking and semiconductor markets.

Rob Pfleging

Most recently, Rob was the Senior Vice President of Global Solutions at Vertiv Co, formerly Emerson Network Power. Vertiv Co is an international company that designs, develops and maintains critical infrastructures that run vital applications in data centers, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities. Rob was responsible for the global solutions line of business at ​​Vertiv, which serves the Americas, Europe and Asia. Prior to Vertiv, Rob was the Vice President of Expansion and Innovation, Datacenter Engineering at CenturyLink, where he was responsible for 55 datacenters across North America, Europe and Asia. Before working for CenturyLink, Rob was the Executive Director of Computer/Data Center Operations at Mercy, where he led datacenter engineering and operations, desktop field services, call center services, and asset management and logistics for more than 40 hospitals. Before fulfilling this mission at Mercy, Rob held various engineering management and sales positions at Schneider Electric. Rob Pfleging additionally served for 6 years in the United States Marine Corps.

James Connaughton

James Connaughton is a globally distinguished energy, environment, technology expert, as both corporate leader and White House policymaker. Mr. Connaughton is the CEO of Nautilus Data Technologies, a high-performance, ultra-efficient, and sustainable data center infrastructure company powered by its proprietary water-cooling system. Before joining Nautilus Data Technologies, he served as Executive Vice President of, a leading enterprise AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation.

From 2009-2013, Mr. Connaughton was Executive Vice President and a member of the Management Committee of Exelon and Constellation Energy, two of America’s cleanest, competitive suppliers of electricity, natural gas, and energy services. In 2001, Mr. Connaughton was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to serve as Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He served as President George W. Bush’s senior advisor on energy, environment, and natural resources, and as Director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy. During his eight-year service, Mr. Connaughton worked closely with the President, the Cabinet, and the Congress to develop and implement energy, environment, natural resource, and climate change policies. An avid ocean conservationist, Mr. Connaughton helped establish four of the largest and most ecologically diverse marine resource conservation areas in the world.

Mr. Connaughton is a member of the Advisory Board of the ClearPath Foundation and serves as an Advisor to X (Google’s Moonshot Factory) and Shine Technologies, a medical and commercial isotope company. He is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Resources for the Future and a member of the Advisory Boards at Yale’s Center on Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia’s Global Center on Energy Policy.