Intel plans to test the potential for using photovoltaic solar energy to power its data centers. The company has set up an array of 64 Sharp solar panels, capable of generating 10 kilowatts of electricity, at its facility in Rio Rancho, NM – the Inquirer reports.
The panels could also provide extra power during the summer – the peak period for electricity usage.
But the current solar installation only produces enough energy to power a tiny fraction needed for most data centers. Intel’s director for global utilities and infrastructure, Marty Sedler, told the Inquirer that the project is a start and could “potentially lead the way for a more aggressive solar program within Intel.”
The solar array is purportedly used with energy-efficient data center containers.
In 2008, Intel’s free cooling experiment – where it exposed part of a working data center to outside temperatures – was listed as one of the green tech trends that may spill over this year.
Intel is one of the companies that launched the Green Grid, which aims to develop standards, measurement methods, processes and technologies to improve the energy efficiency of high technology products.