Samstag Jul 11, 2009

The role of design in Green IT

Green IT in datacenters has come a long way, because the motivation is clear: Save big money by saving energy.

But what about consumers and green? A cool, nice-to-look-at and fun-to-use design is a must. This is what the Ecorider and a Sunray Ultra-Thin Client have in common, and that's why I was so excited last week to finally set the Ecorider in motion again:

Von IDG Green IT Konferenz

IDG held their "Green IT Channel Partner Conference" in the Skylounge, just 15km west of the Sun office in Heimstetten. So as I was invited to give a talk at that conference, which vehicle would be better suited to carry me there than the little green tricycle which carried me from Dessau to Braunschweig almost two years ago?

The talk was - of course - on the other nice-to-look-at and fun-to-use technology with a Sun Microsystems logo painted on it: The Sunray Ultra Thin Client. Our partner CCF told the audience that in a project for the city of Bad Soden near Frankfurt, those Sunrays save 4000 Euro energy cost each year. In absolute term that may no sound like much, but it helps a lot with user acceptance. The new technology is not a dreaded PC replacement but a green desktop, silent, frugal and good-looking.

Montag Sep 17, 2007

BerlinRider - EcoRider sightseeing in Berlin

Berlin, early Sunday morning: Blue sky - "Kaiserwetter" - as we say in Germany. What suits a Kaiser, suits the EcoRider even better. Especially since there's no Kaiser any more in Berlin since 1918.
So we visited most touristic highlights of the city, from Potsdamer Platz to Alex back to Ku'damm. We met modern Rikscha drivers, Marx and Engels (stone version only) and the best Currywurst in Berlin. And planted the Sun & AMD logo on hundreds of (mostly japanese) digital camera SD-Cards...
(Klick on the picture for 20 more pictures)

Donnerstag Sep 13, 2007

EcoTour Finale

After motre than 1500km of cycling through Germany, the EcoRider arrived in Berlin today. We had a joint press conference with STRATO, Europe's biggest webhoster, on energy efficient and carbon neutral datacenters at Sarah Wiener's in the Hamburger Bahnhof. After that, the EcoRider headed to the old power plant of Berlin Moabit, where the energy track of the Urban Sustainability Conference took place. An old steam turbine and power generator from 1926 - what a great stage for the EcoRider!
EcoRider in Berlin
(Klick on the picture for 42 more pictures)

Mittwoch Aug 29, 2007

The Elm and End of my EcoRider trip

The last day of my EcoRider trip as part of the Sun EcoTour saw me climbing hills in the Elm, a vast enchanted forest east of Braunschweig. The climbs drew half of the battery, or 600Wh of energy. How much brain energy I needed to constantly recalculate how many hills the battery may be able to serve in the middle of the forest was not recorded.

Update: Visualize the path of this day in Google Earth (KMZ, 19KByte)

Dienstag Aug 28, 2007

EcoRider cycle paths between Schönebeck and Offleben

An Autobahn, build for the Sun EcoRider:

Plattenbetonweg, Autobahn-Version

More on the various types of cycle paths in eastern Germany, see my trip report (in german language, with pictures) here.

Update: Visualize the path of this day in Google Earth (KMZ, 30KByte)

Montag Aug 27, 2007

Cycling the Sun EcoRider from Dessau to Schönebeck

The full trip report (in german language, with pictures) is here.

Update: Visualize the path of this day in Google Earth (KMZ, 18KByte)

Montag Jul 30, 2007

Eco-friendly Webhosting

Since a dedicated server easily draws 5000 KWh electrical energy for power and cooling, which is (at least for the german energy mix) equivalent to four tons of carbon dioxide emissions, everybody should have a second thought on how much CO2 his or her web presence produces.

Just like Car Pooling, shared webhosting can save a lot of energy. But if we share a server with somebody else, how can we find out how many nighbours we have to calculate our carbon footprint? The answer:

Let's see:

  • seems to live on a decicated server, since it is sharing its IP address with only. But: is running on a Solaris Container, so we are not using a physical server here.
  • One Shared Domain at Strato (that according to Strato only consumes just 1KWh per year) shares the IP address with 700-800 other domains. Combine that with many IP adresses configured in one server, and you get many thousand domains served from one server alone.
  • Our Sun EcoTour Blog shares the server with 17 other domains. Not bad. We just have to make sure to buy enough CO2 neutral energy to feed the Sun EcoRider and the web page.

Mittwoch Jul 11, 2007

EcoRider CO2 balance, revisited

The last five days, Martin covered the first 300 kilometers of his EcoTour through Germany. The vehicle carried the pedaleur himself, luggage for a week and provided protection from heavy rain showers. Looking at other vehicles meeting these specs, how does the EcoRider compare?

Enter the competitors:

  BMW C1 motorbike
 Smart FourTwo CDI
 Sun EcoRider
 Power Source
 Gasoline Diesel Muscle/Electric power
 2.9 liters/100km
 3.2 liters/100km
 CO2 emission
 77g/km 88g/km
 CO2 per person
 77g/km 44g/km 22g/km

 The CO2 emission of the EcoRider was calculated as if all the electric power would have been created by using a Diesel powered generator with an efficiency of 30%.

So even with homegrown inefficient power generation, using the EcoRider for dry trips with luggage up to 70km is better for the CO2 balance than everything else. And better for your health.

Donnerstag Jul 05, 2007

How CO2-neutral is the Sun Eco Rider?

Before releasing our valiant driver into the first hop of the Sun Eco Tour from Hamm to Detmold next week, I head to undergo a test trip with the hybrid bike myself. So this morning, weather cold and windy, light rain added the mix, I went out for a ride of 30 Kilometers:

First Tour with the Eco Rider

First lesson learned: To move a bike weighting 65kg you better have support of an electric engine to climb hills and generally sustain to go faster than 12km/h.

Eco Rider and an electric engine? Electricity is typically made from fossil fuels like coal, so we have to count CO2 emissions here. Let's see: The batteries were fully loaded this morning. According to the specs, that's 1296Wh full of finest electrical energy. After the 90-minute ride going 30km with mostly legwork but added electrical support to sustain a speed of 20km/h, the batteries were half-empty. So the non-human energy consumption of the Sun Eo Rider can be estimated at 2,2KWh per 100km. If that amount of electricity would have been created on a coal-fired power plant, 3,7kg of CO2 would have been created. A Toyota Prius creates 12kg of CO2 per 100km, but is able to carry five people plus luggage compared to one lonely biker and his bag in the Eco Rider. Not much of a difference on the CO2 balance sheet!

So we need to buy the electricity from a source who produces CO2 emission-free. 50KWh shold be sufficient for 2000 Kilometers. 50KWh - that's a light bulb switched on for 20 days. Or a small server (300 Watts), running for one week.

Montag Jul 02, 2007

Eco Responsible Business Travel

Next week the Sun Eco Tour starts in Detmold, home of Weidmüller, who won the Energy Efficiency Award in 2007 for saving 775.000kWh electrical power in their production plant every year. Detmold - that's more than 500km north of Munich, where I'm located. So what is the most eco-efficient way to travel to Detmold?

The most efficient way, of course, is riding a bike like the Sun Eco Rider. But since Martin is riding the Eco Rider, I have to find an alternative.

Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) offers a neat service that calculates the energy consumption and CO2 emission for every possible route. They compare going by rail (using their energy mix - Diesel and electricity created in coal, nuclear or hydro power plants), by car and by plane.

So this is my result for the Detmold trip:

24kg CO2 for the train trip, compared to 106kg for the car and 96kg for the plane. OK, that's Factor 4 - decision done - 5hrs, 20min on the train - finally time to read a good book again!

Mittwoch Jun 27, 2007

Andreas von Bechtolsheim testing the Eco Rider Hybrid Bike

After unveiling his latest engineering masterpiece, the Sun Constellation System for HPC, Andreas von Bechtolsheim had a look at our little Eco Rider Hybrid Bike: <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Constellation at TACC would be the most energy efficient HPC supercomputer. 529 Teraflops using 3  Megawatts would make it to #1 of the Green500-List by a wide margin. By the way - that's the same amount of energy one would need to drive 5000 Eco Rider Hybrid Bikes (30mph using 600 Watts of electric power, or - in power-saving mode - up to 20mph using human power alone)

Freitag Jun 22, 2007

Sun Eco Rider meets Blackbox

Little Shrek meets the dark lord:
Don't be afraid

Watch out for the Sun Eco Rider hybrid bike

Eco Responsibility is one of Sun's top priorities. To spread the word about our story, we are touring all over Germany this summer. The tour vehicle: A hybrid bike, the Sun Eco Rider. Typically moved forward on muscle power alone with support from an electric motor when hills get steep. <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
More Flickr photos tagged with ecorider
More information on the tour and an ongoing blog about the tour, people and places, not to forget eco topics can be found here: Im Strom der Zeit.



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