If you happen to be driving towards Buffalo, New York and you spy some big ole commercial-grade chicken coops in the town of Lockport, those aren't chicken coops. They're Yahoo! server coops, the most efficient data centers the company has built thus far. As El Reg reported a little more than a year ago, Yahoo! had selected the …
...switch the compute load to a cooler location before cranking up those energy gobbling mechanical Maxwell's Deamons to chill the daemons.
My computing unit is beer cooled.
In what sense is it green?
By taking 15MW of power from the Niagara Falls hydro plant, that is 15MW more of conventional generation which will be used somewhere else.
It's Green Because...
...the power utilization is so efficient. The comparison is 15MW vs. 20MW. not 15 MW hydro Vs 15 MW coal or gas.
If they could sell the heat, to a chicken ranch or a greenhouse for example, the net energy efficiency could possibly dip below 1.
Hrm, looks like their hot aisles (behind the server racks) are enclosed with a duct up to the roof, probably part of their airflow design. It's probably not a bad way of ensuring the hot air leaves the data hall rather than spreading round again, but it does mean that going into the hot aisle to work on the cabling is going to be rather uncomfortable.
Hat's off to them....
...that is one impressive achievement.
How do they cope with fog & torrential winds+rain? Or is buffalo devoid of these?
Could've saved even more by using low-energy light bulbs instead of fluorescent strip lights
A title, must I ?
As AC says at 10:43, it's not green.
>> That is real green (as in greenbacks) as well as real green (as in saving the planet from carbon dioxide and other forms of hot air).
AC is correct, that 15MW of green power used simply shifts 15MW of 'dirty' generation to other customers - ie absolutely no saving in CO2 emissions (or whatever currency of pollution you wish to use) at all.
@ John Riddoch
That is normal, the hot aisles will be hot. Yesterday someone came out of our server room and expleted something along the meaning of "golly, that was a tad warm !" He'd swung out a cable management arm to access the back of a server, and then touched it with his ear - the average (extract air) temp was over 40˚C at the time, and that particular server probably had an exhaust somewhat hotter.
The trick is to avoid having to work in the hot end - except in winter when the office is a tad chilly.
@ AC 12:05
I was wondering if they filter or otherwise condition the intake air. I'd assume they at the very minimum have a reasonably fine screen to keep various forms of dirt and wildlife out.
@ AC 12:06
What ? You realise that compact flourescent lamps are just a small flourescent tube wrapped up into a smaller (and less efficient) package don't you ? Assuming they used efficient control gear for the luminaires, then they will not be less efficient than a CFL and probably more efficient.