On a heavy Core77 blogging day, my laptop will become uncomfortably hot. And that's just one machine; you can imagine what kind of blistering heat a server farm must kick out.
Today Yahoo is opening a new data center in upstate New York, and the facility has been innovatively designed to deal with the heat problem. (It looks rather like a physical storage facility, but those aren't roll-up garage doors, they're louvers. Read on.) Most data centers require massive cooling systems, which in turn suck up electricity like nobody's business, but Yahoo's new "Chicken Coop" configuration lacks chillers entirely. How is that possible? The CC design makes the entire building "breathe," drawing in fresh air through a system of louvers and dampers, then recirculating it throughout the facility for heat, or venting it out through the top of the building, depending. Additionally, the server racks themselves are designed with space between them to allow air to pass, and the building was sited in a location chosen for wind access.
"With the Yahoo! Chicken Coop design, we are spending less than one cent for cooling for every dollar spent on electricity," said David Dibble of Yahoo. "Significantly reducing our electricity usage is not only good for the environment, but also good for our bottom line...."
...Yahoo says the Lockport data center will save enough energy to power more than 9,000 New York state households annually, and save enough water in one year to provide drinking water for 200,000 people.
via data center knowledge