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IBM Uses Innovation To Save Cash and Slash CO2 Emissions

11 March, 2015

IBM Data CentreAs global warming continues to pose as a serious threat to the planet an increasing number of businesses are adopting eco-friendly practices. This environmentally responsible conscience extends to a wide range of sectors, including technology companies and the data centres they use to power their operations.

In 2015 American owned multinational technology and consulting corporation IBM is leading the eco-revolution with a commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of its data centres by a huge 40%. The company maintains that ‘green technology’ will power its strategy and play an integral role in slashing its overall CO2 emissions.

So how does IBM plan to achieve such a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions? The inspiration came from the use of a solar farm which helped minimise the carbon footprint of one of its Indian data centres. Located in Bangalore, the data centre houses a 50kW rooftop solar farm which provides clean power to the facility. Rather than convert the generated solar power from AC to DC currents the IBM technology team revealed that feeding the power directly into the facility’s servers prevents the usual 15% power loss encountered by most solar power systems. 

Inside the data centre the zEC12 mainframe is powered by a combination of solar power, high voltage direct current technologies and water cooling. According to Sandesh Bhat, VP India Software Labs at IBM, “In a country like India where reliable power connectivity is a big challenge, these three technologies have opened up new possibilities in the area of energy efficiencies.” As well as minimising the CO2 burden on the planet the switch to greener practices will save IBM millions on their annual power bill.

The initial Bangalore project was a huge success and has led IBM to roll out the eco-friendly technology to the rest of its Indian data centres over the next year. The company also plans to sell the energy efficient solution to its external clients, a move that it hopes will solve India’s data centre demand without rapidly increasing the nation’s carbon footprint.

As CO2 emissions become an increasing concern and power costs continue to surge solutions such as IBMs rooftop solar farm are set to skyrocket in popularity. This type of sustainable technology can be used in almost any global data centre design and will play a pivotal role in helping the world cut its colossal energy consumption rates.  

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