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IBM tries running data centers on solar power

11/21/2011 10:29 PM EST
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Ja_ck
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
Ja_ck   11/21/2011 11:05:34 PM
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Great initiative! "..initial solar deployment was currently powering almost 20 percent of the local branch’s data center energy requirements" Can't help but notice data centers on an average consume nearly 20MW. However, this solar farm provides with only 50KW. I doubt whether powering 20% is a valid figure.

krisi
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
krisi   11/21/2011 11:33:35 PM
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Great PR for IBM but really solar deployment will have to be huge to power data center...in Vancouver where I live we have a one wind turbine installed on one of the surrounding mountains that barely powers 20% of the restaurant...and that happens when the wind is actually blowing (there is not storage of the energy there)...when will the public wake up to reality of numbers involved in renewable energy sources??? perhaps EE Times could broadcast these numbers more visibly...Kris

paboyle
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
paboyle   11/22/2011 9:23:34 AM
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Want numbers: http://www.withouthotair.com/ This guy is energy advisor to the UK Govt.

docdivakar
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
docdivakar   11/28/2011 7:57:30 AM
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Kris, you got it right, this more a PR than substance for IBM! Its facility in Bangalore doesn't have the area needed for mounting the requisite solar panels. I am guessing here, 50KW was probably the max IBM could get out of its installation in B'lore. But a co-generation facility utilizing wind and perhaps biomass can perhaps add a few kW's more to the solar panel's output. MP Divakar

SylvieBarak
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
SylvieBarak   11/21/2011 11:48:43 PM
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Kris, to be sure, you're right and it will need a huge installation (I pinged IBM asking for exact numbers, they need to get back to me... I'll update once they do). On the other hand, I think this is squarely targeted at emerging markets and places where electricity is in very short supply to begin with, so it's not so much a replacement for 1st world data center power sources, as it is an enabling technology for a bank or small company in rural India. And as solar technology improves, so will efficiency. It's still early days for this kind of technology, and I think IBM is on the right track for at least giving it a go.

wilber_xbox
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
wilber_xbox   11/23/2011 6:19:59 PM
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did you get any response from IBM. Do you know who are the people involved in this project?

SylvieBarak
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
SylvieBarak   11/23/2011 7:15:45 PM
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Nope, no response yet. I guess this is down to Thanksgiving, meaning a lot of people are on holiday this week. Will post an update as soon as I have one.

larkforsure
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
larkforsure   11/22/2011 1:01:00 AM
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[ Begging for Life] Complaint about IBM China CSR on Centennial Please Google: IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial or How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media or Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China or IBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China

daleste
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
daleste   11/22/2011 2:24:07 AM
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Everybody wants something for free. Solar power, wind power, geothermal, it's all free, right? 10% of the power required by a data center is pretty good, but what is the cost of the solar array and the maintenance. Is it really cost effective? I hope so.

prabhakar_deosthali
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
prabhakar_deosthali   11/22/2011 5:14:10 AM
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Forget the cost of the initial installation of such solar array. The sheer paucity of adequate electricity from the conventional ways make it necessary to go to such alternate power sources as wind and solar to augment the power requirement. It is better than having to shutdown your data center 4 hours a day because of no power from the utility. I commend this pioneering step taken by IBM , which many corporates should follow

elwood
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
elwood   11/22/2011 6:52:04 PM
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Great insight. If the government doesn't provide the infrastructure for doing business, corporations must provide the services themselves. The evolution of the "company town".

C VanDorne
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
C VanDorne   11/22/2011 6:52:17 PM
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Isn't all energy renewable? - "Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form."

jaybus0
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
jaybus0   11/22/2011 7:20:46 PM
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Conservation of energy, yes, but you are forgetting about entropy. Energy conversion has a statistically favored direction, generally from an ordered, usable form to a more random, less usable form. There is no perpetual motion machine.

DrQuine
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
DrQuine   11/22/2011 8:04:00 PM
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As Prabhakar mentioned, an essential additional benefit here is to be self sufficient in power when the grid is unreliable. While solar cell power may command a slight premium; backup power systems are staggeringly expensive and often noisy and unreliable. If the solar cells allow the data center to be more reliable and to eliminate a generator, the payback is probably very good. Starting solar cell deployment where power is unreliable is a great strategy.

sharps_eng
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
sharps_eng   11/22/2011 9:06:13 PM
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I do business with a sub-contractor in India and he suffers intermittent AC power, so he needs extra batteries to run his UPS to keep working. One day recently he had to stop because his reserve power was exhausted. It used to be like that in the West, in country districts and farms you just lived your life around resources that came and went. Are we seeing IBM repurposing themselves as a green utility provider, or is this just to sell servers to the third world?

DickH
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DickH   11/22/2011 9:12:09 PM
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I must be misunderstanding something. What kind of data center only runs for 5 hours a day?

dementor_#1
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
dementor_#1   11/23/2011 1:51:43 PM
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The context here is that industries in Bangalore have to undergo enforced power cuts for 4-5 hours and resort to diesel generators ..hence the 5 hour per day calculation

Michael.Cowan_#3
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Michael.Cowan_#3   11/23/2011 5:32:25 PM
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A step in the right direction, but need far more solar and wind.Most data center signle 7 foot frames 19 inches wide can consume 30 to 50KW using the highest perforkmance TDP processors

Kinnar
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
Kinnar   11/25/2011 11:35:26 AM
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Hats off to a wonderful initiative being taken by IBM, Data Centers are the place where the solar panel can be best suited and applied. The technology can be given best start-up from this kind of high end sophisticated power usage. Great work done IBM.

tobytoby
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re: IBM tries running data centers on solar power
tobytoby   12/1/2011 8:47:57 PM
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I must say, the guy has guts tinkering around with solar panels in the wet climate. This dude still around

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