Energy efficiency & green technology

Overview

The IT (information technology) industry will play a key role in the global effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for two reasons. First, this is because the IT and telecommunications (TC) industries consume 2% of the world's energy — as much as that consumed by air traffic. The strong demand drives the consumption trend ever upwards. Second, IT and TC industries enable emission-intensive activities to be replaced with less intensive digitally controlled and optimized activities. For example, IT can replace traditional activities with digital information processing to decouple knowledge transfer from the act of physically moving material or persons.

As described by IBM’s smart planet strategy, computing infrastructure enables intelligent control of industrial and administrative processes to save energy by means of improved electric grids, traffic control, logistics, data retrieval, and banking. In the future, the desirability of energy savings will become the factor that will drive the further accelerated introduction of digital processes.

This trend will be challenged, however, as the energy consumed by data center infrastructures supporting these digital processes soars to unacceptable levels. Future overall energy efficiency gains from digital processes, therefore, must rely on improved IT efficiency and energy management in data centers, computer terminals, and mobile devices, as well as greater effectiveness of the total software stack and computing applications.

The global increase in the level of awareness regarding CO2 emissions has created a strong push for “clean” or “green” sources of energy. Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems allow the conversion of sunlight into electricity with higher efficiencies than conventional flat-plate collectors. Our expertise in processor chip cooling is being leveraged to achieve high-performance liquid cooling of CPV chips.