Solar panels and a “green roof” cut energy costs

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Green Technology
Hardware News

A while back, we reported on a recent trend that’s bringing earth-friendly technology into the data center. Energy-efficient systems are also good for your budget, as they help reduce the high cost of powering a data center. Well, there are plenty of different ways to “go green” in the server room but I’ve never seen anything quite like this: Phil Nail, IT manager for Internet services provider, plans to cover the roof of his building with a layer of dirt and bush-type, drought-resistant plants–at a cost of $30,000. How exactly will that save money? Nail estimates that the garden, which will sit directly on top of his 300 server data center, will reduce cooling costs by half. So how does this so-called “green roof” work? It’s not as complicated as you might think: to figure it out, Nail advises that you stick your hands in some dirt. “It’s cool down there,” he observes.

Nail may just be on the cutting edge of energy efficiency. His company already users a series of solar panels that provide all of the power needed for both the data center and the company’s lighting.’s savings on power are further bolstered by the State of California’s energy-efficiency initiative, which offers a $2.50-per-watt tax rebate for systems of up to 1 megawatt in size. Such incentives from State and Federal governments will be crucial in getting business to adopt solar technology–as the initial investment can be quite high. However, such systems will likely offer savings in the long term, especially given the rising cost of electricity.

For more on energy efficiency in the data center:
– see this ComputerWorld article


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