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 usually DC to begin with, and super-efficient LED lighting is also DC. So DC power distribution has been a attractive option, but there have been vigorous arguments for and against. Recent events suggest the tide is turning in favor of DC distribution, although skeptics continue to press their case. The growing use of solar-generated electricity might be providing the latest boost DC.
Image courtesy IEEE Spectrum
Updates from the Americas (ex-US). Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe. Click on 'Americas' tag above for all news about the region.
The Haiti Connected Schools Program "brings sustainable computing solutions and Internet connections to 40 schools in rural Haiti." When a school is ready to receive a lab "solar panels are installed either on the roof or on poles next to the computer lab and the indoor cabling with inverter and batteries are completed." Although everything from ICT gear to LED lighting could be powered directly by DC from solar panels, most rural solar-based ICT programs use less efficient DC-to-AC inversion. Click here for a discussion of why and here for an overview of DC power for ICT.
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. (Information about the ICT implications of Japan's earthquake and tsunami have been moved to its own post.)
Fast Company's list of 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 is topped by Chinese activist Ma Jun, Director of the nonprofit Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). Ma's focus on pollution began in the 1990s and became critical to Green ICT a few years ago. "In 2009, his team began to notice several cases of health problems due to heavy-metal pollution being reported in local newspapers. 'To our surprise, the source wasn't mostly mines or government-operated smelters,' he says, 'but factories manufacturing global IT equipment'…By April 2010, Ma had discovered 29 major tech brands using factories with hazardous operations." Ma and IPE gained global recognition in 2011 by challenging the Apple, allegedly the largest and least responsive of the tech giants implicated in Chinese pollution. Learn more from our 2011-12 coverage of Ma, IPE, and Apple.
The Pacific Island Schools Connectivity, Education, and Solar (PISCES) Project has installed a Solar-in-a-Box kit as a computer lab at a primary school on the island of Udot in the Federated States of Micronesia. The installation illustrates several ways in which Green ICT technologies and practices can deliver ICT to remote areas.
The Judson (TX) Independent School District's Green Computing Initiative (GCI) integrates over a dozen Green ICT tactics into a comprehensive program.
|Containerized modules have become building blocks for mega data centers. These plug-and-play units offer cost-effective scalability for hosting cloud applications needing only a homogeneous platform. A UK nonprofit known for providing refurbished computers to developing countries now offers an innovative containerized ICT solution for use in disaster areas and remote communities. Computer Aid International launched its ZubaBox with the slogan "ICT Hub-In-A-Box Offers Internet Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere".|
We're updating our 2010 look at Green ICT Earth Day activities with 2011 news.
Kansas City (MO, USA) carrier hotel 1102 GRAND announced that it had "recently implemented Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCP&L’s) Custom Rebate Retrofit Program and projects a Wattage reduction of 53 percent just in time for Earth Day 2011." 1102 Grand principal Darren Bonawitz emailed these lessons learned. "In our experience, it is always easier to cost justify implementing large scale infrastructure replacements with more eco-friendly options when expanding or replacing equipment at the end of its life cycle. Those projects do not happen every month or year even. In between, commercial companies can take advantage of programs to complete smaller projects that still provide incremental energy savings. A series of smaller projects are often easier to implement and the sum of their energy reduction can be just as significant as a single large scale retrofit."
This isn't really ICT-related, but we could not resist. The CIA's Earth Day press release leads with, "The Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of shredding and burning classified papers...is one of several ways the CIA conserves energy, reduces its impact on the environment, and lowers costs through its sustainability efforts. Exhaust from the Agency’s on-site incinerator generates steam to heat water at CIA Headquarters. In addition to saving fuel, that process reduces the amount of waste—which would otherwise be destined for landfills—by nearly 1,000 tons per year." Burn before showering.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports "A group of seven graduate students, from Stanford University and Finland’s Aalto University, created a prototype of a recyclable laptop…the Bloom laptop…is made mostly of materials that can be recycled alongside ordinary household items, like metal, plastic, and glass. Materials like LCD screens and circuit boards, which need to be sent to specialized recycling facilities, can be easily separated in a few steps."