Posted By Rich Miller On December 21, 2009 @ 8:07 am In Green Data Centers | 11 Comments
A small lSP and hosting company in Illinois may be the first data center operator in the U.S. to power its facility entirely with wind power from an on-site turbine. On Oct. 19, Other World Computing  (OWC) began using a 131-foot tall wind turbine to provide all the electric power for its building in Woodstock, Illinois, which includes the company’s headquarters and a data center supporting its web hosting and ISP services.
There are other data center operators that use utility power that is sourced from wind generation. But this is the first example we’ve seen of a working data center with on-site wind generation that can produce enough power to support its entire facility. That’s partly due to the fact that OWC has a small data center, which can be supported by a single wind turbine, limiting the initial investment required to commit fully to wind power. The company has also invested in other energy efficiency measures for its facility, reducing its overall electricity needs.
OWC is one of several examples of data centers seeking to go “all in” on wind energy for their data center. Here’s a look at other data center projects focused on wind energy:
OWC, which also operates an online catalog of iPod, and iPhone products, uses utility power when the wind dies down, and also has generators on site. The company’s Vestas V39-500 wind turbine, which arrived in September, can provide 500 kilowatts of power. That’s plenty to support the 37,000 square foot facility, which already employs a geothermal cooling  system. OWC estimates that the turbine will generate 1.25 million kilowatt hours of power per year, more than twice the amount OWC needs for its operations.
The tower is 131 feet high with the blades extending the turbine’s total height to 194 feet. The blade housing can rotate 360 degrees so it can turn facing into winds up to 150 mph. During extreme winds, the blades automatically go “flat” with the narrowest point into the wind and in essence, shut the turbine down until it senses safe operational wind speeds.
The turbine cost about $1.25 million, and will take between 10 and 14 years to recover the cost, according to OWC.
“I made the decision to 100 percent self fund this project because of the conservational benefits as well as the future cost of energy,” said Larry O’Connor, CEO, Other World Computing, in the press release. “With the kilowatt hour rate in the Chicago market up 24.3percent since 1999, it only makes sense to use technology to lower our usage and costs related to traditional power sources.”
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URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/12/21/data-center-powered-entirely-by-the-wind/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/owc-wind-day.jpg
 Other World Computing: http://www.owc.net/
 Green House Data: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../archives/2007/11/29/wind-powered-data-center-in-wyoming/
 Microsoft Virtual Earth: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../archives/2008/04/18/microsoft-unveils-wind-powered-containers/
 Baryonyx: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com../archives/2009/07/20/wind-powered-data-center-planned/
 geothermal cooling: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/08/13/geothermal-data-center-is-leed-platinum/
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
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