HP publishes idea Methane Powered Data Centers from Cow Manure, why do you think I keep going to Missouri?

NYTimes discusses HP's new paper to be published on how methane gas from cow manure can be used for data center power.

One Moos and One Hums, but They Could Help Power Google

Toby Talbot/Associated Press

Manure from 10,000 cows could provide the power for a small computing center at a bank.

Published: May 18, 2010


Design for Farm Waste Data Center Ecosystem

America’s dairy farmers could soon find themselves in the computer business, with the manure from their cows possibly powering the vast data centers of companies like Google andMicrosoft. While not immediately intuitive, the idea plays on two trends: the building of computing centers in more rural locales, and dairy farmers’ efforts to deal with cattle waste by turning it into fuel.

With the right skills, a dairy farmer could rent out land and power to technology companies and recoup an investment in the waste-to-fuel systems within two years, Hewlett-Packard engineers say in a research paper to be made public on Wednesday.

This will help to get more people thinking about renewable energy sources from agriculture.  USDA is another source gov't agency to work with on these ideas.

We've been discussing these ideas for the Ewing Industrial Data Center site in Columbia, MO along these same lines.  University of Missouri our education partner knows a lot about agriculture.

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SJ Mercury News discusses the ideas as well.

Mueller said he's never seen a biogas-powered computer facility. But he added, "there are a lot of potential synergies. You just have to be willing to locate the data center where the fuel is. I don't think you want to ship the manure to Silicon Valley."

With today's high-speed networks, Patel says, it's possible to build computer centers near farms in rural areas. He also sees big potential for using biogas power in developing nations, where electricity is expensive and the existing grid can't support much tech infrastructure.

"This could be an opportunity for emerging economies," he said, "where the need for IT services will be greater and greater."

Also, think of Fuel Cells for using the methane gas.