With an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and cost-effectiveness, data centers today are tapping to renewable energy sources like solar power.

FREMONT, CA: Solar energy is a hot topic right now, and it has been at the forefront of data center innovations for a while. Solar energy is a significant component in the realm of renewable energy, and it is being adopted as an integral power source in the data centers. 'Colocation America’ reviews that there have been notable steps in this direction, and a solar-powered data center is significant among all. But is a solar-powered data center practical?

Conventional wisdom projected solar power as very expensive and intermittent for meaningful applications in data centers. But, that concept is rapidly changing today as technology is making solar power easier and more cost-effective to tap into. Today, the technical challenges data centers face in using solar power fall into two broad categories, namely, reliability and quality. Because of solar power’s intermittency, data centers must be prepared to store or supplement it. Data centers typically use electricity converted from solar energy to power daytime operations and apply excess energy to peripheral requirements such as charging power supply systems. 

Solar energy to adequately fulfill the power consumption requirements of data centers need to put up substantial photo-voltaic solar panels. Installation of some hundred panels has the potential to produce around a couple of hundred kilowatts of electricity. The investment in such a project is, of course, vast, and the cost-effectiveness factor is being worked on. Authorities are offering tax cuts for data centers that are implementing solar power. After all, any attempt at reducing carbon footprint is acceptable, and the installation of solar power accomplishes it. As the adoption of solar energy increases, installation cost lessens, which will result in a data center that has a sustainable and renewable energy portfolio.