Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Tidal-Powered Data Centre/Wind-Powered Base Station

Another couple of stories on innovative ways to power ICT infrastructure:

- Morgan Stanley, with Atlantis Resource Corp, is planning to build a data centre in Scotland that will be powered by tidal energy. Located in the Pentland Firth in Scotland it will use the tidal power in the Firth. The project is estimated to cost £250-£300m and would be operational by 2011. The idea is that the data centre will use power from the grid until the turbines are up and running and they will then be directly connected to the data centre by a private cable. Apparently this will bypass the wait to get renewable energy projects connected to the grid. (Although if this is already a two-stage operation with the data centre preceding the turbine installation you would have thought there would have been plenty of notice to organise a grid connection).

- You may have seen the pictures of Ericsson's award-winning Tower Tube design for base stations. The idea is that the chimney effect creates cooling which reduces energy use by 40% and hence operating costs. Well now they've gone one further by adding a vertical turbine to generate power. It's still in the trial stage, but it's a difficult thing to hide (see picture). Ericsson describes the Tower design as an "aesthetically pleasing concrete tower", which initially sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it can apparently be "built in many sizes and painted in a variety of colours, making it a natural fit in any landscape". Make up your own mind.


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