Microsoft is eyeing a 200kw biogas-powered data center on March 2013. It is an experimental program in an effort to make its data center less reliant on the power grid. If successfull, it will be the very first zero carbon foot-print data center.
Data centers continue to grow with the advancement of information technology and every growing information to store. Most of us may not be aware, but these data storage machines actually consume a lot of energy. Especially with the commitment of companies to provided fast and un-interupted service.
Microsofts new data centers will be powered by fuel cells, which makes use of biogas from waste water treatment plant, producing 200kw.
Biogas is a biproduct of water teatment facilities. However, most of these gases are usually burned away because it was uneconomical to store, transport and use. Microsoft will be building the data centers right next to the water treatment facility, making easier to capture the biogas on site.
If this experimental fuel cell data center is successfull. They plan to build small-scale and even micro data centers at other water treatment facilities, since these are mostly located in densely populated areas.
As more and more data centers need to be built throughout the world, this could easily become a trend for Internet companies across the globe as companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Apple are seeking to lower their carbon emissions and seeing alternative energy as power backup to their data centers in case the traditional power grid fails.