Cows as the engine of the IT industry

    Cow - a power source for your data centerWhen working in a company as large as ours, you can never be sure that you know everything about it. For example, you hardly expect your colleague to suddenly utter a phrase like “IT and dung are in symbiosis” in an interview with the New York Times. But Chandrakant D. Patel, director of our Laboratory for Sustainable Information Technology, did say that. Therefore, I simply can not resist, not to tell more in the continuation of this of his fresh thoughts.

    First, the global IT industry is experiencing an ever-growing need for energy sources. In the USA, computer centers have long been trying to locate in sparsely populated states, where it is possible to allocate for them inexpensive land on the prairies and powerful food resources. But even there it is getting crowded. And India and China, which, together with the modern innovative economy, have to complete the industrial economy, are forced to use free energy sources for new giant plants.

    Both of them need a solution capable of ensuring the growth of the IT industry without large-scale investments in infrastructure. And here we go to the cows ...

    At all times, farm owners supplied manure to the entire county. Today, he found many substitutions on the farm, and he is constantly in abundance with farmers: experts estimate that the average cow produces 55 kg of manure per day. Its uncontrolled mountains harm the environment, polluting the soil and groundwater. And just, um, they smell for miles around.

    But according to estimates by other experts, these same 55 kilograms of manure per day is enough to support the burning of a 100-watt bulb. That is, about 3 kW / h from each cow. Skipping further details, we can immediately say that an average farm with 10,000 head of cattle can provide energy for itself and a small data center belonging, for example, to a regional bank.
    Diagram of embedding a cow in the data center infrastructure
    Biogas (approximately 60% methane and combusted with an efficiency of approximately 70%) is obtained in special plants using anaerobic digestion. Heat for fermentation, as we see in the diagram, can be obtained from the cooling center of the data center. Well, it really can be called a symbiosis.

    Of course, technology cannot yet be called affordable. For a farmer in the United States, such a power plant will rise to $ 5 million. But he will be able to recapture his costs in 2.5 years. An analysis of electricity prices in the United States shows that an average farm owner can earn about $ 2 million a year.

    Yes, and in conclusion I want to remind you that HP still does some other things for data centers. Servers, for example ... Well, everything else. This is so, by the way.

    And below you can watch a video where Professor Patel explains the principle of technology:

    Also popular now: