Our data centers are some of the most efficient in the world. Specifically, our data
centers use only 50% of the energy of most other data centers. In addition to reducing
our impact on the environment, our efficient data center designs have saved us over a
billion dollars to date. In fact, according to an independent study,
Google uses very little of the world's electricity (less than 0.01%). Additionally,
we're the first major Internet services company to gain external certification of our
high environmental and energy management standards throughout our data centers.
Google uses a very small portion of global electricity. In an independent report,
Stanford consulting professor Jonathan Koomey estimates that data centers use
between 1.1% and 1.5% of global electricity (Growth in data
center energy use 2005-2010). From our own accounting, we know that Google's
data centers use about 1% of Koomey's worldwide data center estimate. This makes
Google responsible for about 0.01% of global electricity use.
More info on Google's data
There are many simple design choices that you can apply to both small and large
data centers to improve the efficiency of the facility. Here are the top 5
recommended best practices from our data center experts.
The first step to improving a data center's efficiency is measuring it. Power usage
effectiveness, or PUE, is an industry-recognized ratio to measure efficiency. Find
out how Google has measured our efficiency to improve performance over time.
More info on measuring PUE
Good air flow management is fundamental to efficient data center operation. Find
out how Google keeps the hot and cold areas separate, fills empty slots in the
server racks, and takes other actions to improve efficiency.
More info on managing airflow
Adjusting the thermostat
It's a myth that data centers need to be kept chilly. You can raise the cold aisle
of a data center to 80°F or higher, and this will significantly reduce facility
More info on adjusting the thermostat
Utilize free cooling
"Free cooling" is removing heat from your facility without using a large
air-conditioner, or chiller. This is done by using cold air from the outside,
evaporating water, or using other things available around the data center. Avoiding
the need for mechanical chillers is the largest opportunity for energy and cost
More info on utilizing free cooling
Optimize power distribution
By minimizing how many times we convert power from one type of electrical current
to another, Google has seen significant savings in energy and cost.
More info on optimizing power distribution
Data center best
In this case study, we explain how others can apply some of the efficiency measures
we've used to reduce costs and environmental impacts from our data centers. Some of
our best practices include keeping hot and cold areas separate, raising the
temperature in certain sections, and using cold air from the outside for cooling.
Inside Google's data
Google builds data centers with efficiency in mind so we can reduce environmental
impact and save cost. Find out how we build our data centers, use renewable energy,
and work with others in our industry.
Explore Google's data centers