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Facebook tries putting spuds in servers to make them more eco-friendly

Sam Shead | Sept. 23, 2013
Facebook revealed that it tried using potatoes in its servers to make them more environmentally friendly at a briefing in London.

However, Frankovsky pointed out that Facebook was still able to achieve efficiency savings of 30 percent when it was leasing space in someone else's data centre.

"We started turning off computer room air conditioning. We started separating hot aisle from cold aisle," he said. "These were things our co-location landlords hadn't done."

There are very parts of the world that are so hot and humid that you can't get the inlet temperatures to a point where the electronics would survive, according to Frankkovsky.

"Even if air conditioning is not a risk they're willing to take, I think there's a lot that can be done in electrical efficiency. Eliminating the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) would be one easy way. These cost $2 a Watt while the OpenCompute battery racks we've open sourced cost $0.25. It's also far more efficient because they're not transferring the AC to DC."

Facebook has even taken steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the lorries that transport equipment from Germany to its only European data centre, in Lulea, Sweden.

"We design the rack enclosure, as well as the pallets that it transports on, to be able to plug a truck 100 percent so we don't have any wasted space on a truck so we don't have any wasted transportation costs," he said.


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