ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY IN DATA CENTERS
Data centers are facilities which house a large number of servers and computer storage devices required for the IT sectors. These data centers run full time when in use and sometimes when not in use. The amount of energy that is supplied is not totally consumed. A large percentage of the energy is wasted. The energy that is used for these data centers is a non-renewable source of energy. In days lying ahead, there could be a major scarcity of energy, provided the companies with data centers take corrective actions. It is a
well established fact that data centers are one of the fastest growing users of energy.
According to the recent Green Peace report, giant companies have taken a great leap towards using clean-green energy in their data centers. The use of clean and inexhaustive source of energy is a very complex issue. It has its own pros and cons; starting from the high costs of equipments and generation to the return on investment.
The big giants of the business are enroute towards achieving and committing to green data center operations. They are vying to get the attention of the green peace and their criticizers by saying that green data centers are achievable.
There are a number of benefits that these companies can have from the use of renewable sources of energy. Companies consider renewable sources only for the elimination of green house gases, but they do not realize that it would save them from the future rise in power prices. When a solar panel is installed, a company fixes the price tags on energy production for the next couple of years. Renewable sources can be an on-site production, protecting companies from blackouts that are widespread across many nations. Installation of solar panels is a very good mode of on-site energy production and works best during peak hours.
Over the past few years, solar energy has garnered a lot of attention and adaptability. There have been some major price cuts in the market, but solar energy has not been able to match the standards of the other sources like coal and diesel.
Wind energy is another source which has to an extent matched the standards of the other sources. It has also steadily improved its price point. Hydro-electricity powered energy has also been considered for data centers that require a heavy backup. Somehow these sources fall apart after a considerable amount of having considered the geographical attributes of a region.
Another source of energy that seems to have created a stir in the market is what is called the ‘Bloom Energy’. Bloom is a solid-oxide fuel cell which converts fuel to electricity through an electro-chemical reaction. This cell has gained a lot of attention worldwide. Bloom energy takes advantage of the reduction in cost of power, which is an added incentive to the data center.
It also has the power to create stable and clean energy that is immune to disruptions. It offers high security to the data stored in the data centers while eliminating the production of green house gases. But data centers opting for Bloom have been relatively low considering the reliability and economics of power that these companies rely on.
In choosing the right renewable energy, there are a number of factors that one needs to consider. One needs to look at the costs and benefits for the company. As the cost of power rises and technology improves, financial aspects make more sense than on being on top of the Green Peace hit list.