An IBM data center in India plans to cut is greenhouse gas emissions by 40% using solar power and water cooling for air conditioning. The Bengaluru-based data center uses a 50 kW solar photovoltaic system that provides electricity to the data servers.
The DC power generated by the solar panels is directly fed to the servers converting it into AC supply. This helps cut power losses by 15%, which, in turn, also cuts GHG emissions. Cold water flowing through the server mainframe takes away the heat generated by its various components.
The solar power system serves a dual purpose. It provides a free and virtually uninterrupted supply of electricity and offsets GHG emissions as well. Continuous power supply remains an issue even in Bengaluru, India’s IT capital. An increasing number of companies are now looking to set up their own solar power plants – rooftop or utility-scale – to meet their demands. The need for this in-house generation has also stemmed from the expected trend of increasing electricity tariff.
Due to constrained supply of coal and the poor financial condition of the Indian utilities, the price of electricity has been increasing over the last few years. The cost of solar power generation, on the other hand, has been falling considerably. Commercial and industrial consumers, as such, face the highest power tariffs among all consumer groups.
Indian IT companies are also taking several measures to reduce their carbon footprint and switch, at least partially, to clean energy sources.
Infosys, one of the leading IT companies in India, earlier this year announced a plan to set up a 50 MW solar PV project in Karnataka to fulfil its Renewable Purchase Obligation. Through this power plant, Infosys is expected to save around $3.5 million per year. The company plans to expand the solar power capacity to 200 MW over the next few years as it plans to switch to 100% renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2017.
Another IT major, Wipro, has also found significant success in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by gradually increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity consumption and implementing energy efficiency measures.
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