Facebook revealing data about water efficiency usage

Facebook is highlighting data about how the world’s largest social network has achieved strong levels of
water efficiency usage for cooling in the first building at its Prineville, Ore. data center. Specifically, as of
the second quarter of 2012, the Prineville data center achieved a WUE of 0.22 L/kWh.

Daniel Lee from the Open Compute Project described in a blog post that figure is “a great result, but it
should be noted that the WUE concept is fairly new.” However, a specific goal for Q2 wasn’t mentioned
in the post. More specific details about the nitty-gritty specifics behind the water cooling systems are
available on the open compute project blog.

Lee stated that most data center cooling systems don’t actually employ outside air economization,
instead recirculating up to 100 percent of the air used to cool the server room with a central chilled
water plant and cooling towers. He added that consumes more energy and water.

“It’s like using a window-mounted air conditioner to cool a room instead of putting a fan in a window
when the outside temperatures are cooler than the temperature in the room,” Lee described.

This marks the first time that Facebook has publicized its water usage efficiency measurement. Last
week, Facebook also shared information about its carbon footprint, outlining a goal to earn at least 25
percent of its data center energy from clean and renewable sources by 2015.

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