Our previous web site was hosted in a solar powered data center in southern California. Unfortunately, that company didn’t survive, and we found ourselves without a hosting company. A little searching led us to AISO.net and we have been extremely happy running some other sites on their shared hosting over the last few years.
Offering everything from simple shared web hosting through VPS to colocation, they really have something for (almost) everyone. Support, in the rare cases we’ve needed it, has been excellent too. Oh, and their pricing is very competitive too.
Solar Powered, Solar Lit
As well as running their own arrays of solar panels to generate electricity for both the data center and their offices, they have also deployed light pipes (and windows) to light the interior using natural light during the day rather than needing to run electric lighting.
For backup power they have clean air certified propane generators instead of the more common diesel ones too.
Cooling and Water
Another big source of energy use in data centers, particularly those located in places where solar energy works well, is cooling for the servers. Instead of using conventional cooling though, Aiso is using a water cooling system. Using water collected from rainwater, which is recycled and used for watering a green roof and cooling the solar array as well as but the cooling system in the data center. To quote from their site:
Our Coolerado air conditioning systems use mother nature for cooling in a similar fashion, water is evaporated into air in one chamber and this cools the air flowing in an adjacent chamber. The cold air is used for cooling while the water vapor holding the heat is exhausted outside to be renewed by the atmosphere.
Painting their building white also helps reduce the amount of heat energy absorbed by the building (and reduces the heat island effect too).
Their website contains a detailed description of all of the various technologies they are using to provide not just a solar powered data center, but a truly environmentally sound one.