The Latest Vertatique News & Insights

Renewables and Water in Play for Facebook Data Center Siting Competition

A competition between two locations in the western United States highlight two big sustainability issues for mega data centers - energy and water. Utah and New Mexico are both vying for a new Facebook "data warehouse".

"Energy Harvesting" Powers Small Wireless Devices

We've been tracking the potential of "energy harvesting" to power devices without conventional batteries or grid connections since 2011. The latest market entrants demonstrate this segment continues to expand to meet the need son the Internet of Things (Iot).

Sol Chip's "Everlasting Solar Battery" "...integrates all the components required — in a single battery unit — to harvest and supply sustainable solar/light energy to low-power applications." Sol Chip was recognized as a 2016 Sustainia 100 solution. The Sustainia citation noted the potential impact on IoT e-waste "...by limiting the need to continuously replace batteries and reducing the associated costs and waste."

Intel White Paper: Useful Resource for Solar-Powered ICT in Remote Areas

Intel's white paper Solar Power for PC Deployments: Enabling ICT Beyond the Grid is a clear and consise overview of how to calculate solar capacity for off-grid ICT. The methodology is illustrated with a case study about creating a solar-powered computer lab for a school in rural Bangladesh.

Innovative Ways We Could Be Recharging Our Devices

Researchers around the global are exploring innovative ways to sustainably recharge the billions of edge devices attached to the global ICT infrastructure. Experiments use everything from plants to urine . (You may have to reload page to display videos.)

Global Green ICT Update: Asia-Pacific

Short updates from Asia-Pacific. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Asia-Pac' tag above for all news about the region. Our latest item looks at the scope of GreenICT.

The 2016 Seed Awards in India are promoting a "Green ICT" theme, but the description is a little off. "Does your eco-inclusive enterprise demonstrate social & environmental impacts through application of information and communications technology? Or does it provide solutions for sustainable consumption or production using information and communications technology?" This appears to be an example of confusing GreenICT with ICT4Green, nevertheless, we would encourage any enterprise with a true Green ICT focus to consider entering. This can help align ICT4D with Green ICT.

Distributed Servers Could Become 'Data Furnaces'

We have been covering the use of datacenter waste heat to warm facilities from municipal buildings to swimming pools since 2009. That led to coverage of a 2011 Microsoft research idea for how individual servers might become 'data furnances'. That original post with excerpts from the researchers' publication is available below.

Three European companies have now brought the idea to market. Two explain the concept with a video.

GreenICT Awareness Among African Students - Critical for Sustainable ICT4D

We have long advocated for Green ICT awareness in ICT4D. A 2015 paper "Assessing University Students’ Attitude toward Green Computing Practices" from Nigeria provides insight into the short-term future of Green ICT in the region.

Akamai's Green ICT Initiative

Content Delivery Network (CDN) services provider Akamai has launched a major initiative to reduce its GHG emissions. Most notable is its commitment to an absolute, not relative, reduction.

Akamai's May 2016 announcement: "Today we are committing, by 2020, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2015 levels by sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations."

DC Power Distribution for ICT

Most ICT gear - core facilities, communications infrastructures, and edge devices - runs on DC power. Converting AC to DC within a building is inefficient, on-site renewable power generation is often DC to begin with, and super-efficient LED lighting is also DC. All this seems to make DC power distribution an attractive option for ICT facilities, but there have been vigorous arguments for and against. Recent events, beginning a 380-V DC standard for ICT power distribution in 2011, suggest the tide is turning in favor of DC distribution.

Image courtesy IEEE Spectrum

Personal Solar for Devices in the Backcountry

I don't go into the backcountry device-free. A smartphone, with backcountry GPS software, and a digital camera are always with me. Planning for an 11-day rafting/hiking trip through the Grand Canyon in April raised the issue of how to power my gear. I decided to go solar to minimize battery consumption. A February week in the Mojave desert (right) gave me a chance to sort out candidate devices and to configure a compact but workable system. Here are reports from the Mojave and Grand Canyon trips.

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