Facebook offers peek into super energy-efficient Oregon data center (video)

The social network giant's Prineville, Ore., data center requires about half the power of a comparable facility. A video tour of the facility explains how.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Social network giant Facebook has been talking up the energy efficiency of its data center in Prineville, Ore., for some time. Now, the facility has earned a Gold certification nod under the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) program.

The facility requires 52 percent LESS energy to run than a comparable facility. Among the things that helped it get there:

  • Energy-efficient server designs that use 38 percent less energy and operate at higher temperatures than is typically allowed
  • 100 percent outside air evaporative cooling
  • An onsite power distribution system, which dramatically cuts the amount of power lost due to power conversion steps; approximately 7.5 percent of the energy in Prineville is lost to conversions, compared with 21 percent to 27 percent in other data centers
  • Electricity for the office areas is supplied by a solar panel system that contributes approximately 204,000 kilowatt-hours to the facility annually

If you have around 11 minutes, and you want to get your inner data center design geek on, you can get a video tour of the data center. The manager shows off some design points that have helped Facebook achieve what he describes as a 28 percent efficiency gain over other data centers like it.

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