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Thursday, April 12, 2007

How jumpSLIDE is Greening the Grid

There has been a lot of talk in the IT world recently about "greening the grid," and exciting new collaborative efforts to look at reducing power consumption from the desktop to the data center.

We're doing our part at jumpSLIDE networks where we think that SMB technology consultants can play a major role in reducing energy consumption. About 3 years ago, we added a 2.5kw solar array to our home/office in the sunny San Francisco Mission district. At the time, we were putting a new roof on our house when we chose to not only go solar but also reinforce and insulate our roof for better energy efficiency. The solar system, which uses cogeneration and time of use metering to sell power back to PG&E brought our then $120/mo electric bill down to $0.

After the first year, we learned that if you produce more energy than you consume, PG&E takes the difference, rather than giving you a credit you can use on your natural gas, or giving transferrable credits you can donate to a non-profit or use at another business location. To me, that's criminal. So instead of giving away our power to PG&E, I have brought a lot of our development machines inhouse.

While we continue to maintain servers at a colocation facility with failover power, etc. and do our hosting externally through Bluehost, we run about 4 development servers on a rack here, where we can utilize our surplus solar power.

It's our hope that soon battery optimization of hybrid vehicles will become more affordable and accessible so that our Toyota Highlander Hybrid (seen in Geek My Ride) can plug in at night to use some of that power as well.

Until then, we're enjoying life in the sun. And on the test bench for later in 2007 is a quiet and energy-efficient desktop system that's Vista-ready.


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