China has taken a step toward the world’s first commercial data center under the sea. The data storage unit was submerged into the sea near Hainan Island on Friday.
The data center, once completed, will be 40 to 60 percent more power efficient than centers hosted ashore, according to Pu Ding, general manager of the project.
It took the engineers almost 3 hours to put the 1,300-tonne storage unit 35 meters underwater. The entire project is composed of 100 such units.
Putting data centers into the sea can be beneficial in many ways. The center can utilize sea water to cool the electronic parts, reducing the electricity cost of air conditioning.
“The entire data center can cool itself naturally,” said Xie Qian, senior engineer of CTTL Terminals, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). “The water-cooling technology will also help increase the density of servers, boosting the computing power.”
Additionally, undersea data centers make use of the vast space of the seabed to reduce land cost. They are also located far away from human habitats and face less interference.
The underwater environment is also free of dust and oxygen, thus electronic devices can last longer and break less often.
“Some of the undersea data centers will be located near coastal cities. So, they are closer to the core nodes of the network, which will make the network response faster,” Xie explained.
Though companies like Microsoft have already tested underwater data centers and called the plan feasible, China’s version will officially enter commercial operation and serve real customers.
World’s largest clean energy corridor supplies China with electricity
As a strong cold wave hits China, the national electricity load has continued to climb. In the face of the coming peak electricity consumption, power companies have made every effort to ensure a safe and stable supply of electricity.
The world’s largest clean energy corridor along China’s Yangtze River produced over 276 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last year, up 5.34 percent year on year. The increase is equivalent to reducing standard coal consumption by around 83 million tonnes and lowering carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200 million tonnes.
The corridor, consisting of six mega hydropower stations, was completed in December 2022, with the Baihetan hydropower station in its upper section fully operational.
The other five stations along the corridor are the Wudongde, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Three Gorges and Gezhouba power stations.
The six hydropower plants transmit electricity from the resource-rich west to energy-consuming regions in the east, with a total installed capacity of around 71.7 million kilowatts.
The corridor can generate electricity from a single drop of water six times, with an average annual clean energy output of about 300 billion kilowatt-hours, which can meet the annual electricity consumption needs of more than 300 million people.
China plays leading role in world’s transition towards renewable energies: IRENA
China is playing a leading role in the world’s just transition towards renewable energies, the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Gauri Singh told Xinhua on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Governments Summit in Dubai.
“China has always played a very important role in renewable energy,” Singh said while extending her greetings to the Chinese people for the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 10.
“The Year of the Dragon embodies the spirit of courage, vitality, and ambition. We all need to be ambitious in how we view our common future and the future of the planet,” she said.
The IRENA, with 169 members, is a leading global intergovernmental organization to promote world renewable transition, support countries in their energy transitions, and provide up-to-date data and analyses on green tech innovation, policy, finance and investment.
Thanks to China’s role as a hub for manufacturing, which drives down green transition costs, a large number of countries were able to advance their national plans more smoothly, according to Singh.
According to the IRENA’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023 published in March last year, China accounted for about 48 percent of the increase in global total renewable capacity in 2022.
Two-thirds of the new hydropower capacity, 45 percent of the new solar capacity, half of the new wind capacity, and 57 percent of the new bioenergy capacity in 2022 were installed in China.
“The beauty of what China does is that they just go and just get it done. I think that is a very important aspect of how they’re also looking at international collaboration and cooperation,” Singh said.
Singh added, however, there are three main challenges for the world to overcome in the renewable energy sector.
“One is that we still don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the transition from centralized power plants to renewable energy,” she explained.
“The second remains that this is a sector that’s policy-driven. Policies need to be in place and they need to enable the transition to happen.”
Thirdly, Singh said that more manpower and skills will be required to support the transition.
“We need to make sure that it’s a just energy transition. We can’t leave behind certain parts of the world and move forward because that’s not how it will happen,” she said.
“The role China plays in supporting a lot of developing countries to be able to reform and to build assets in the new energy system is incredible. If that continues and more of it happens, then we will really be able to talk about a just energy transition.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the World Governments Summit from February 12-14 in a bid to help states develop proactive solutions for future challenges.
The 11th edition of the summit brings together more than 4,000 delegates, representatives of international organizations, opinion leaders, and private sector leaders from around the globe.
During the summit, more than 120 government delegations and 80 international organizations are discussing sustainable economic growth, artificial intelligence, future governments, education, healthcare services, food security and urban expansion.
China makes remarkable progress in developing advanced aeroengines
China has developed a series of advanced small- and medium-sized aeroengines represented by “Yulong” (Jade Dragon), AES100, AEF100 and AEP100, according to a symposium on the latest development of domestic aeroengines held in Beijing on Wednesday.
Aeroengine, or aircraft engine, is known as the “pearl in the crown” of modern industry and is a technical peak that is pursued by world powers.
The Yulong turboshaft aeroengine is the first entirely domestically developed engine that has completed the whole process from pre-research, development, mass production, operation to further progress, during which China has formed strong capabilities in product research and development, verification, and system and talent support.
The AES100 engine is developed in strict accordance with airworthiness regulations, featuring an international advanced level in its comprehensive performance.
It can be applied in twin-engine helicopters of 5 to 6 tonnes or single-engine helicopters of 3 to 4 tonnes, for multiple purposes such as sightseeing, patrolling, police service and rescue.
The AEF100 engine meets the power needs of 5-tonne business jets and 3-to-5-tonne high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It boasts advanced design of low noise, low emission and high reliability.
The AEP100 engine fits a 3-to-10 tonne UAV or 6-tonne general aircraft and business jet, with economic, safe and reliable features.
The country has also developed hybrid power systems, including the turbine engine powered by hydrogen fuel, which will reduce carbon emissions.
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