IBM brings solar power to data centers | Green Tech - CNET News
A solar technician at IBM’s Bangalore, India research facility.
IBM is bringing electric power—in the form of solar panels—to data centers with trouble getting power in the first place.
The company tomorrow will detail a pilot project which couples solar power with water-cooled servers that run on high-voltage direct-current. The method results in about a ten percent energy savings by reducing the losses that normally happen in converting from alternating power from the grid to the direct current servers run on, according to Murali Kota, the chief scientist of nanotechnology at IBM India who developed the pilot as a side project.
That level of energy reduction is significant for large data centers with many servers, but the implications of solar and servers are potentially profound for places that don’t have access to reliable power, Kota said.
A bank, for example, that wanted to set up a remote branch and operate a data center could use solar power as a way to supplement power from the grid and on-site generators. IBM plans to offer the system in custom engagements next year. Clients in developing countries have already shown an interest.
“Everybody is talking about getting connectivity from the grid. The cities are already overloaded so they need ways to generate local power,” Kota said. “You can start connecting unconnected parts of the world using this kind of system.”