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We use 5 times less energy to cool data hubs, says Google

Google has said low energy cooling is at the centre of its strategy to cut fuel consumption at its data centres and make them the greenest in the world.

The internet giant has put its approach online, claiming that it wants to help other companies be more energy efficient.

In a blog post, Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president, operations, said: “Our data centres use considerably less energy for the servers themselves and much less energy for cooling than a typical data centre.

“Google-designed data centres use nearly five times less energy than conventional facilities to feed and cool the computers inside.

“Our engineers work hard to optimise every element in the data centre, from the chip to the cooling tower.”

The key issues highlighted by Google include managing air flow, adjusting the thermostat to minimise chiller use and using cooling towers to ensure that evaporative cooling is used whenever possible.

Google’s efforts to highlight its green credentials may be linked to increasing concern over the amount of energy used by data centres in the United States.

In 2006 they used 1.5 per cent of all energy consumed in the United States and in three years time they will eat up 2.5 per cent.

Bob Towse, head of technical and safety at the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association, said: “It is very good that a large corporation like Google is looking at this sort of thing and trying to be as proactive as possible.

“But in the UK this is the standard sort of thing you would expect any company to be looking to do. Companies like BT would already have the same kind of processes in place.”

Mr Towse said shareholders were now putting pressure on companies to be more socially responsible and green.