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."
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.
Liquid cooling was once a staple of large-scale computing, but has largely been replaced by air cooling. We identified several efforts to bring liquid cooling to the server world in our first version of this post in 2012 and have seen continuous progress since. Here is the latest news.
Updates from Europe. Click on "Europe" tag above for all news about the region. Click here for regional Green ICT updates from around the globe.
A benefit of speaking at a conference, as I did last month as a GSICT keynoter, is learning from the other speakers. One presentation made me aware of Green ICT work underway through the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Task 4, last updated in April 2015 is described as a "50 partner cluster" spanning "6 FP7 Projects from the Call on Data Centres Sustainability: DC4Cities, RenewIT, Dolfin, GENiC, GEYSER & GreenDataNet, aiming to increase renewable energies use, heat reuse and the utilization of Smart Grids; 2 projects from a previous FP7 Call : All4Green, CoolEmAll; one H2020 project on public procurement of sustainable data centres (EURECA)."
ICT facilities are becoming increasingly innovative in reusing their waste heat, a trend we first identified in 2009. This has been strongest in Europe, where many municipalities have district heating infrastructures into which facilities can transfer excess heat. Our latest example, from Switzerland, is just this sort of arrangement.
City governments can show Green ICT leadership. Paul Kronberger, CIO of Madison (WI-USA), a city of 270,000 residents, tells me the municipality has taken these steps to improve the sustainability of its own operations.
Microsoft has announced plans to spend $5.5 million to build a zero-carbon data center pilot project in Wyoming. A source of very low carbon electricity is key to such projects. Microsoft's power generation fuel? Municipal sewage!