At a Glance


Internet, Software, Hardware and Technology Services

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Sunnyvale, CA

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

17,000 metric tons


Jim Wilson evaluated the current power consumption metrics of Yahoo!'s domestic and international data centers.


Jim Wilson spent his summer at Yahoo! Inc., one of the most visited Internet destinations and a world-class online media company. An MBA student at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, Wilson's main project work involved evaluating the current power consumption metrics of Yahoo's domestic and international data centers, both for determining the company's current carbon footprint as well as scouting prospective future sites.


Such a job required:

  1. Researching countries where Yahoo could possibly build data centers that use renewable energy, and considering both the pros and cons of each option, including cost of electricity, incentive programs and tax implications
  2. Evaluating the expected Power Usage Efficiency of a data center in each location, which can often bring unexpected results
  3. Assessing all of the factors that Yahoo must consider (and balance) when building a data center - not just energy efficiency, but also data transfer speed, bandwidth, and physical server capacity.

Wilson also worked on a project studying the Japanese Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning model, investigating whether certain components at Yahoo's Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters could be retro-fitted with this technology.

Potential Impact

Since these systems are designed to be installed using tiny piping that requires little additional drilling, Wilson's plan identified savings of over 17,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and could reduce HVAC Load in Yahoo's Headquarters by 10 percent - which could cut Yahoo's electric bills by almost $400,000.

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