Facebook’s new data center in Lulea, Sweden is part of the social media network’s initiative to make their operations as green as possible. “Green,” in this case, is achieved by having the facility do away with air conditioning, given Lulea’s insanely cold climate. Temperatures for most of the year can drop to as low as 40 degrees below zero.
"Facebook said that it uses "100 percent outside air" to cool all of its own data centres, and that other data centre operators are typically over-cooling their facilities when they do not really need to do this.
By cutting air conditioning and making other changes as part of the Open Compute initiative, Facebook has seen an impressive 38 percent improvement in energy efficiency, the company claimed.
Frank Frankovsky, Facebook's vice president of hardware design and supply chain operations, said modern server hardware is much more robust than people imagine, and that Facebook has found it can operate quite happily without cooling even at temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius."
Facebook's idea is something a lot of businesses all over the world can emulate. However, before you start stripping your Shreveport office of air conditioning systems, keep in mind a few things. First, Louisiana isn’t Sweden; whereas record highs in Lulea rarely go above 20 degrees Celsius, they easily do in Louisiana. Even if the state notches record-lows of around 16 degrees Celsius below zero, the cold does not last for most of the year.
Second, although Sweden continues to deal with air quality issues, Lulea is located north where particulates are at a minimum. Much of Louisiana is in the “yellow zone,” close to “red zones” where air pollution is at its worst. Without air conditioning in Shreveport, sensitive hardware will be seriously compromised by particulates.
Lastly, some data centers can still overclock their machines and suffer little to no adverse effects. One Michigan-based company that runs data centers all over the U.S. claimed it was able to save $15,000 in air conditioning costs, thanks to radical changes in the hardware’s design and performance.
Overall, air conditioning is still a must for any office in a warm climate. There are ways to save on cooling costs without doing away with the HVAC system and putting the integrity of your systems at risk. On top of that, you have expert Shreveport AC repair teams like AccuTemp Cooling and Heating to help you out.
(Source: Facebook: Data centres do not need air conditioning, V3, September 20, 2013)