In 2009, search engine giant Yahoo! selected Cupertino Electric, Inc. to help build a 190,000-square‐foot data center in the remote town of Lockport, New York, about an hour from Buffalo. The wisdom behind engaging a West Coast electrical contractor for an East Coast project says a lot about the belief in utilizing tried and true teams to ensure success.
The data center was built in two phases on a 30-acre parcel of property and houses a six “winged” structure connected by a main hall way. The project features a new design and engineering approach focused on utilizing the region’s cool lake winds. By harnessing the climatic conditions around the Buffalo’s area, well-known cool winter lower temperatures, Yahoo! is reducing overall energy consumption and associated operating costs utilizing an evaporative cooling system.
Each phase of the data center contains 72,000 square feet of data floor area (no raised floor). The incoming utility service is stepped down through an owner-operated utility-style substation designed and constructed as part of CEI’s electrical scope. The project features diesel generators backing-up the nation’s largest Active Power UPS installation.
The data center facility was part of a Yahoo! effort to employ quick construction and efficient mission-critical facilities to accommodate the company’s bit movement and storage requirements. The time-to-build for each 9 MW phase was less than six months per phase. The infrastructure of Phase 1 of the data center is designed to provide power densities of about 150 watts per square foot.
Some interesting facts about the Lockport data center:
- The facility’s annualized average PUE is 1.08
- Evaporative cooling coupled with airside economization means the facility does not need chillers
- The building was designed and positioned to leverage natural wind patterns in the area
- Placement of electrical infrastructure on the data center floor allows the design to omit separate cooling capacity for electrical equipment
- Installed high-efficiency UPS systems do not require much cooling, making the building even more energy efficient