Clarkson working with HP, Advanced Micro Devices on wind-, solar-powered data centers
POTSDAM -- Clarkson University, microprocessor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), computer maker HP and other private businesses will work with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA ) to demonstrate how a network of wind- and solar-powered data centers could create a new model for data center and renewable energy operations.
The program makes use of a network of data centers to make this high-energy-demand technology more energy-efficient and cost-effective than current methods. If successful and deployed on a larger scale, this project could bring significant energy savings.Clarkson engineers and students will be experimenting with managing data through servers powered by wind turbines or photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. Backers envision the creation of a large-scale system to serve colleges, hospitals, corporations or any entity that requires data processing.
The distributed – or “cloud computing”-- network is key to this project. For example, sites could be installed at wind turbine sites in Albany and Buffalo. If the wind is blowing in Buffalo, processing would be routed there. If Albany is generating more power, the processing would be routed there.
NYSERDA is investing $300,000 in the project, which will leverage an additional $374,000 in private funds.
Clarkson will be supported by business partners that will contribute equipment or expertise to the project, such as AMD, HP, and Vento Tek Inc. and Timbre Inc. in Potsdam, and others around the state and country.
Given the rapid growth in data processing, this innovative approach to data center design and operation could help offset the growing power loads required by the industry while using renewable energy sources.