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Business

There's money up on the roof

I've reported here before about the eyebrow-raising percentage of operations costs that telecommunications companies spend on energy. After all, their business is centered on providing services through massive data centers and they are directly affected by rising energy costs.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

I've reported here before about the eyebrow-raising percentage of operations costs that telecommunications companies spend on energy. After all, their business is centered on providing services through massive data centers and they are directly affected by rising energy costs.

It stands to reason, then, that some of these companies are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to reducing energy or, what the heck, producing their own. A good example is Telco Systems in Israel, which has deployed a roof-full of experimental solar panels from Distributed Solar Power. This stuff is still VERY new, as you can tell from their Web site. They look very much like satellite dishes, as you can see by the photo below.

Telco Systems Zvi Marom said his own company adapted Distributed Solar's technology in order to directly power its servers, which provide Carrier Ethernet services. The photovoltaic energy is used to reduce the amount of energy that Telco has to suck up from the grid plus it's being used to power the air-conditioning and cooling systems, he says. Early results show that the company is able to save about 30 percent of its total electricity costs, he estimates. Telco also is shifting WHEN it pulls energy from the grid, trying to rely more heavily on the panels during the day and leaning more heavily on the grid at night, when it's cheaper. "Every kilowatt you eliminate during the day, equals six during the night," Marom says.

The devices have been in place for about a year, and the company will be reporting on the results for July, August and September before it decides what next steps to take. "So far, the economic logic looks good," Marom says.

Indeed, the project already has earned Telco Systems an ISO 14001 environmental certification, outlined here.

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