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IBM Unveils Data Center Solar Array

IBM has unveiled what it says it the world’s first solar array designed specifically for high-voltage data centers at its software development lab in Bangalore, India.

The 6000-square-foot rooftop system is capable of providing a 50 kw supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day, IBM says.

IBM plans for the system to connect directly into the data center’s water-cooling and high-voltage DC systems. By employing unique high-voltage DC power conditioning methods – and reducing AC-DC conversion losses – IBM says that the array can cut energy consumption of data centers by about 10 percent.

Earlier this week, Hewlett Packard unveiled Project Moonshot, an initiative to reduce data center energy use by up to 89 percent through the sharing of storage, networking, management, power and cooling across thousands of servers.

The company says the project should use 94 percent less space than traditional server systems, while reducing costs by up to 63 percent.

Facebook also announced this week that it is planning to create both electricity and hot water with a solar energy system at its new Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters.

The Cogenra Solar system’s dual function makes it more cost-effective than a PV-only solar system, according to Cogenra CEO Gilad Almogy, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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