Data centers account network data like social network profiles and uploaded media. The U.S. alone stores a third of the world’s data—nearly 900 exabytes (900 billion gigabytes)—in data centers all over the country. With eight Internet users coming online every second, six of them in North America, data centers have to expand constantly to make room.
However, expansions take their toll on the local power grid. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, data centers consumed a total of 91 billion kWh, enough to power New York’s homes twice over, in 2013. Most of the consumption stems from HVAC systems used to keep the databanks cool. After all, heat is the enemy of sensitive electronics. Continue reading