Energy from Cow Manure to run HP Data Center
A mutually beneficial partnership between a data center and a dairy farm might seem unlikely. However, research presented this week at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Conference on Energy Sustainability posits that it’s a ‘natural’.
The issue is energy. Data centers are a fact of modern high-tech life. Also a fact is that they need an enormous amount of energy to operate. That necessity isn’t going to change anytime soon. As a result, many data centers are built close to power generation sources. This is where dairy farms, and their cows, come in.
Where there are cows, there is methane - a lot of it. Methane in the atmosphere is recognized as a worse environmental hazard than carbon dioxide, but it can be captured and used to generate electricity. HP’s research suggests that the methane produced by 10,000 dairy cows could be used to generate 1 MW of electricity. That just happens to be about the same amount of energy needed to operate a data center with energy left over to meet the needs of the dairy farm itself.
HP’s innovative thinking will go a long way to making data centers as sustainable as they are necessary. Moo!