IBM illuminates solar power system aimed at data centers

IBM said its solar system can offer a 50-kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year

ibm solar array in india
IBM said today that is rolling out a solar-power array system designed to run high-voltage data centers.

IBM has installed the first iteration of the system on the 6,000 square-feet of rooftop of its India Software Lab in Bangalore. 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.

More on solar power: US to fund aggressive technology that cuts solar power costs 75%

IBM plans for the Bangalore solar-power system to connect directly into the data center's water-cooling and high-voltage DC systems. The integrated array can provide a compute power of 25 to 30 teraflops using an IBM Power Systems server on a 50kW solar power supply.

IBM said it will make the solar-power technology available to customers, particularly those where the power grid is iffy, in the future.

The IBM solar array can cut data center energy consumption by about 10% and tailored for use in industrial IT and electronics installations, the company said.

"In many emerging markets, electrical grids are undependable or non-existent. Companies are forced to rely on expensive diesel generators. That makes it difficult and expensive to deploy a lot of computers, especially in the concentrated way they're used in data centers. Using IBM's solution, a bank, a telecommunications company or a government agency could contemplate setting up a data center that doesn't need the grid. The array, in effect, creates its own DC mini-grid inside the data center," IBM stated.

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