Today’s data centers run on standard power supply, what if they were to go hybrid? Some data centers already use natural sunlight for daytime lighting and solar powered lamps at night; waste water from air conditioning equipment is recycled and re-used and fuel cells are made use of in the backup generators. These have been the most reliable methods of going green these days. A hybrid system would typically merge two or more power sources to provide a stable output. What if a unique backup generator capable of merging alternate energy sources is built? Are there possibilities beyond this?
Not all alternate sources of energy available today can produce enough power to run a data center. Some of these used in the right geographical locations where the prospective data center is located can prove to be very beneficial.
- Solar: The oldest and the most popularly used energy resource, solar energy can be easily harnessed and clubbed with any other alternate energy source. The only drawback would be in colder regions where there is less sunlight and the local population complaining that solar panels can be an eyesore.
- Biomass: Most data centers are located in the sub-urban regions or the outskirts of cities. What if the local farm waste could be turned into
a Biomass waste processing plant close to the data center? If not electricity it can provide fuel for heating within the data center during winter.
- Wind: Data Center standards require it to have space around it, maybe as a safety buffer for natural disaster or intentional threat. Why not use this place to setup a few wind turbines? It generates enough electricity to provide indoor lighting especially in colder windy areas.
- Geothermal: Is your data center located near a weak geographical location? Do you have a lot of boilers or hot springs in the vicinity? Geothermal power is the answer! Geothermal power if harnessed correctly can power the entire data center. The savings in the electricity bill can overcome initial costs in a few months’ time.
- Tidal: This type of energy source is still experimental due to large capital on the equipment, but if your data center is located near a cliff or a fiord a lot of small cavities in the rock can provide a decent spot to rest a turbine. It’s free, why not use it?
So, what is beyond alternate energy? Its Hybrid energy! Are you planning to combine two or more of these free sources to provide backup power for your data center? It is not only cost-cutting but a very good way to save carbon credits. Why not save and give back to nature? Why not go Hybrid?