Renewable Energy Powered Portable Data Centers

A New York research group is teaming up with some of the biggest names in the computing industry to demonstrate how a network of wind and solar-powered data centres small enough to fit inside the average shipping container could revolutionise operations for businesses with high energy demands.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has partnered with Clarkson University, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), HP and others  to design a network of renewable energy-driven Performance Optimized Data Centre (POD) systems that could rolled out on a large scale for customers requiring data processing.
Key to the project is NYSERDA’s “cloud computing” type model – essentially a decentralised smart power grid – which enables solar or wind-powered POD’s to be installed at sites with optimum exposure to sunlight or high winds. Data processing workloads could then be rerouted, in real time, to PODs with the best energy capacity at a given moment. By connecting the network with fibre optic technology, even data sent over vast distances would become invisible to the user according to NYSERDA.
An average data center can consume up to one megawatt of electricity at peak demand – enough to power 1000 homes – and NYSERDA predicts the amount of energy consumed by data processing centers in New York alone will double over the next five years, a cost that will be borne both business and the environment, said Alan Lee, Vice President for Research at AMD. 
“AMD has a long history leading the battle against power consumption in the data center. This significant project with HP, NYSERDA and Clarkson University is a natural next step and will help researchers develop cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective data centers that run on solar and wind power, which will clearly be needed to sustain the expected growth of public and private networks.”