Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center

" I mentioned briefly that the SunMD unit at CeBIT was hooked up to solar-power. Ingo Frobenius, the Sun Engineer involved in the effort, provided me with more details about the solar installation.

The solar array was about 65 square meters providing 10kW of power. The normal generator used with the SunMD truck was replaced with a transformer and the unit was also attached to the power grid for when the solar panels were not producing power (which happened during the first day of snow Smiling.

Click to see picture of Data Center with Solar Panels

Its true that 10kW is not going to power a complete SunMD unit. The average rack has a 12.5kW power supply (though if you fill the rack with 4 Sun Blade 6000s, you will need 25kW power supplies with your rack). But keep in mind, many of our warehouses have far more than 65 square meters of space to put solar panels. Next time you are flying over a warehouse region of a city, just look at all of the rooftops that face up towards the sky, there is more than enough space to power a few fully-equipped SunMDs. In fact, some customers estimated the roof-space of their warehouses at about 1000 square meters (enough power for the SunMD and the chiller).

In Germany (home of CeBIT), solar energy is sponsored by the government in many regions, helping make solar energy a reasonable proposition for powering SunMD.

I have to give a "shout out" to all of the companies that participated in the demonstration (in addition to us, Sun Microsystems, with the SunMD):

* Ersol - produced the solar cells
* GES - takes the solar cells and builds the solar panels
* ALTEC - producing aluminum frames for mounting solar panels
* Intel - Rockin' Processors in Sun Servers

Go Green! "


solar_panel.jpgsolar_panel.jpg97.21 KB

Re: Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center

Note that in a country like Nigeria with abundant Sun, it will be possible to power the Data Center completely with the solar panels.

This effectively eliminates the electricity problem.

Re: Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center

"Sun Modular Datacenter is revolutionizing how the world adds datacenter capacity. Whether it be cost-effective" instant datacenter capacity for rapidly growing emerging markets or eco-friendly deployments for universities with limited space and expanding IT needs, Sun Modular Datacenter is reaching new customers world-wide who have been waiting for just this type of break-through solution"

Glad If you have the time, watch the 3 videos on the page.


Re: Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center


Nice article.
I am just wondering if this comes in smaller sizes for deployments. Just imagine, small computer science departments in Nigeria trying to deploy this.


Re: Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center


I imagine a smaller configuration can be put together. You would have to get a smaller panel and do some calculations about how much power can be supplied by the panel and how much is actually needed to remove the need for NEPA. Of course for prudence you would have a "Disaster Recovery" procedure of temporarily switching to a power generator in the case of solar panel failure or some other unforseen circumstance.

However, once you have your solution going you might find that you need more and more servers and more power which will take up a lot of space and therefore creating a need to upgrade to larger solar panels. This can bring on tremendous unforseen problems. The Sun Modular Data Center scales like nothing else. I imagine a number of organisations can combine to share a Sun Modular Center (leading to huge 'economies of scale' savings).

The basic thing I believe is to shift dependence to solar panels especially in a country like Nigeria where there is no shortage of Sun power.




Re: Sun (as in solar) Modular Data Center

This is very possible in Nigeria except for the Huge initial cost of installation. We can cut it for a data centre by using Thin clients and in addition, redesign power packs of PCs to use DC. That will cut conversion losses and improve power quality delivered to the equipment.

Imagine: No harmonics, no surges, no brownout, NO "Many things".

It can be given a trial