Today in Cleantech

On Perspectives, the blog written by Amazon’s data center efficiency guru James Hamilton, there’s a post highlighting the Ishikari data center in Japan. The data center does a few innovative things, namely using high voltage direct current (DC) power distribution and ductless cooling. The DC current question has been around for a while (claims are that a DC power distribution can result in 30 percent energy savings though Hamilton points out it’s actually closer to 3-5 percent), but now that solar power is gaining ground, it’s arisen again. Solar panels put out DC power so coupling solar panels with a data center that uses DC current instead of AC current, cuts down on a conversion step and can increase efficiency. IBM is trialing this type of setup in Bangalore, India and we’ll see if it can catch on.

The next big thing for data centers: DC power

Although we live in an AC-dominated world, DC seems poised for a comeback, particularly in data centers. Facebook adopted a DC architecture in its Prineville, Ore., data center. SAP spent $128,000 retrofitting a datacenter at its offices in Palo Alto, Calif., to rely on DC power.