Renewable Energy and the Data Center
Here at Team Silverback the Green Gorilla worries a lot about the sustainability of data centers. Data Center Knowledge has just put out a very thoughtful article on the subject, and I have some thoughts on it all as well.
There are a few different ways data centers (and other facilities) are working on attaining sustainability. Obvious strategies include solar energy and wind-powered energy. Less obvious include location-specific geothermal energy, as in Iceland which I have often discussed, and also waste-heat reclamation strategies.
Because they’re so ubiquitously possible, I particularly like waste-heat reclamation strategies. All facilities generate waste-heat, right? So why not use it? Here are some good ones which use their waste heat productively that DCK came up with:http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/data-centers-that-recycle-waste-heat/.
Although using actually renewable energy is harder than purchasing carbon-offsets and that kind of thing, it seems like a good, immediate and practical way to deal with the problems the environment is facing partly as a result of large, high-energy facilities like data centers. At one of the schools I’ve attended, the administration got funding to build solar panels over a few of the parking lots and powered several buildings that way. Doing so was not a complete solution to energy waste, but at least it helps on a daily basis. That kind of effort is good to see and sets a positive example – even when it’s impractical to power an entire facility by renewable means, progress can be made bit by bit.
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