Data centers have seen a significant growth boom in recent years. Arizona data centers are no different as more and more data centers pop up in the region to meet the demand.

Arizona has certain advantages that set it apart from other colocation centers, like strong network connections to the West Coast, enhanced disaster recovery, and lower occurrences of natural disasters. However, regarding colocation, the region has had difficulties with power and cooling.

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Free Cooling for Arizona Data Centers?

Unlike colocation centers up north, Arizona data centers do not benefit from natural, free cooling.

As a result, these massive storage spaces require more power to run the equipment and to keep them cool. Data centers in the area have been innovative in tackling this issue by installing huge rooftop solar panels to make the most of the sunlight.

These gigantic solar panels can generate up to 4.5 megawatts of energy for these facilities. Further, companies are also installing thermal storage systems that will run cooling systems at night when electricity rates are lower.

Efficiency Hacks for Power and Cooling Problems

Here are some other methods used by colocation centers to increase efficiency:

  • Low-power LED lighting
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers (climate control)
  • Highly efficient computer room air handlers (CRAHs) plus fans
  • Highly efficient chillers
  • Perimeter flooring (recycled car tires)


Arizona State Government Tax Incentives

Arizona is a leading market for colocation center development, and the state government is looking to make it further attractive by offering a new series of tax abatement rule programs. This will be beneficial not only to new data centers but also to those that are already established in the state.

When the state first introduced a 10-year tax break, 27 tenants with 12 data center operators took advantage of it. The rules were an addition to the tax abatement.

Currently, the tech giant Apple is building a massive data center in Arizona, and Microsoft has shown interest in building in the state if it receives the required tax breaks.

Solar Farms and Wind Farms

Under the new rules, there could be a possible investment of $2 billion to construct solar farms in the area.

However, this will not be the only power source, as data centers require reliable and sustainable power sources. That means they will need to draw from the local grid as data centers need uninterrupted power, around the clock, not just when the sun shines or when the wind is blowing steadily.

Combined Heat and Power Plants (CHPs)

So there are issues with power and cooling in Arizona, but colocation providers are meeting these issues head-on. Arizona data centers have also adopted the shared use of combined heat and power plants (CHPs).

CHPs basically take in natural gas and convert it into energy. When they’re paired with absorption chillers, CHPs can deliver as much chilled water as needed by a data center. Further, CHPs also can serve as a redundancy if there’s a failure in the utility feed.

All these measures, in turn, will lower the overall footprint of greenhouse gas. This is not the case for facilities on conventional utility company power. Sure, there might be cooling, and power issues in 115 degrees of sweltering heat, but Arizona data centers have adapted and solved these problems.

What power and cooling innovations most entice you? What else should data centers in Arizona consider? Please share your input in the comments below.

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