Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finally, They Figured out Our Garbage and/or Cow Shit are GREAT sources of Renewable Energy

...Just wondering what took them so long!

Cow power and other ideas for reducing IT's energy costs
By Caron Carlson

CIOs are facing twin stresses in the data center these days: Usage is growing and so is the pressure to reduce energy consumption and costs. These imperatives, along with increasing environmental consciousness, are spurring some creative ideas for cutting power costs.

Engineers at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) have landed on a way to simultaneously help dairy farmers get rid of cow manure and help data center operators procure relatively cheap fuel: Use the manure to power servers.

Companies with huge data centers increasingly are building them in rural areas, which happen to have an excess of animal waste. The heat from a data center could be used to improve the process by which the waste turns it into methane, which can be used in place of natural gas or diesel, HP's researchers maintain.
The average dairy cow, according to HP, produces approximately 120 pounds of waste a day. It would take 10,000 cows to produce enough energy for a data center big enough to support a bank.

Meanwhile, eBay has found that a good way to increase data-center efficiency is to make the CIO pay the energy bill, according to Dean Nelson, senior director of global data center services at eBay. At the Internet auction giant, the facility bills are mixed into the IT budget, and as a result eBay has found new ways to lower energy use.

The company's newest data center was financed by savings accrued through reduced power costs over the past two years, reports Joab Jackson of IDG News Service. Previously, eBay's business growth went hand-in-hand with operational expenses. To limit the steady rise in operational costs, the company turned to several different methods for reducing power consumption, including virtualization and frequent hardware upgrades.

eBay leases its equipment, replacing it every two years because the newer the equipment is, the greater energy-efficiency it can provide, according to Nelson. The company uses Intel's Nehalem chips in its servers, which offer as much as five times the performance on a per-watt basis as earlier Intel chips.

Published in:

For more:
- see HP's report: "Design of Farm Waste-Driven Supply Side Infrastructure for Data Centers"
- check out the HP press release
- read Joab Jackson's article at InfoWorld

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