IBM introduces new solar-power technology

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IBM has announced that it is rolling out the first solar-power array designed specifically to run high-voltage data centers, integrating AC- and DC-based servers, water-cooled computing systems and related electronics. The new array is spread over more than 6,000 square-feet of rooftop covering IBM’s India Software Lab in Bengaluru.

The solar array is capable of providing a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day. By employing unique high-voltage DC power conditioning methods – and reducing AC-DC conversion losses – the new IBM solution can cut energy consumption of data centers by about 10 per cent and tailors solar technology for wider use in industrial IT and electronics installations.

High-voltage, DC computer servers and water-cooling systems are beginning to replace traditional, AC-powered servers and air-conditioning units in data centers. IBM’s Bengaluru array is the first move to blend solar-power, water-cooling and power-conditioning into a ‘snap-together’ package suitable to run massive configurations of electronic equipment.

“The technology behind solar power has been around for many years, but until now, no one has engineered it for efficient use in IT,”said Rod Adkins, senior vice president, IBM systems & technology group. “We’ve designed a solar solution to bring a new source of clean, reliable and efficient power to energy-intensive, industrial-scale electronics.”

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