News Brief

Yahoo! Data Center Sets High Mark for Efficiency

The vents on the sides of the “chicken coop” data farm near Buffalo, New York, allow outside air into the building, providing natural cooling and ventilation.

Yahoo!’s new 50,0000-server data center near Buffalo, New York—playfully called the “chicken coop” for the design’s resemblance to a farm—has a remarkably high efficiency target.

The company expects its new center to have a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.08—outperforming rival Google’s average of 1.16, and much better than the industry average of 1.90–2.50 (that number varies depending on how you ask). A score of 1 means that all energy is being used to run servers instead of chillers or other equipment; a score of 2 indicates only half the energy used by the building is being used by servers. Servers produce a lot of heat, creating particularly high cooling loads in data centers. (For more, see "Data Centers Now Eligible for Energy Star Rating,” EBN, June 2010).

The buildings use natural ventilation, rather than chillers, for cooling during most of the year. According to Yahoo!, the unique design means the building will use 40% less energy and 95% less water than conventional data centers.


Published October 11, 2010

Wendt, A. (2010, October 11). Yahoo! Data Center Sets High Mark for Efficiency. Retrieved from

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