Solar, wind and hydro-electric are just some of the ways to power data centres and phones
Solar power and wind power are the most visible ways to generate electricity without burning fossil hydrocarbons, but fuel cells can also produce clean energy by consuming biogas from compost. All three are currently used for powering data centres, with Apple and Google at the forefront of promoting renewable energy technologies.
Renewable power plays
Similar options also crop up to fuel smaller systems, right down to portable devices such as phones. But there is one rule that holds for any size of device. You can’t power a data centre using only solar panels on the roof – it burns more power per square metre than the sun provides.
Phone makers don’t saddle users with massive arrays of solar panels as a renewable power source, but they still have tested a plethora of technologies including clockwork mechanisms and even waste body heat to charge a mobile device.
Our quiz runs you through recent developments – some more serious than others. So, if you think you know about renewable energy…
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