September 6, 2010 / 4:40 PM / in 8 years

On the GreenBeat: GRC cools servers with oil bath, the government as a cleantech VC

Startup Green Revolution Cooling has landed the first customer for its server cooling system that reduces server temperatures by way of an oil bath. Midas Networks is the first customer to be trying the cooling system out. The reasoning behind the system is that liquid can hold and transfer more heat than air. GRC says its oil mixture can cut data center power consumption by 45 percent. The Register has a video here.

Smart grid company Silver Spring is trying to bulk up its strategy in preparation for an eventual (and long-expected) IPO, reports Green Tech Media, citing anonymous sources. The article also notes that major executives have left the company, including former chief product officer Judy Lin, who was recruited last year from Cisco. Last week, Cisco announced big forays into the smart grid market, including a partnership with smart meter-maker Itron and the acquisition of wireless technology startup Arch Rock. Silver Spring likely has its work cut out for it: Cisco’s smart grid efforts could come to rival Silver Spring’s, and the Washington Business Journal speculated last week that GridPoint could beat Silver Spring to the IPO punch.

Time magazine takes a look at the clean energy impact of the Recovery Act, which designates $90 billion of the $787 billion bill to cleantech efforts such as smart meters and solar power – “converting the Energy Department into the world’s largest venture-capital fund.” Without government, there’s no way we would’ve done this in the U.S.,” said Bart Riley, CTO of A123, an MIT startup that makes lithium-ion batteries that supply electric cars. The company has won government grants to open plants in the U.S., and the automotive companies it supplies have benefited from Recovery Act money, too. “But now you’re going to see the industry reach critical mass here.”

LED maker Obelux has developed “the most powerful LED of all time,” reports CleanTechnica. It has created a high intensity flashing LED that is 20,000 times more powerful than previous technology, and will be used on tall buildings to warn planes flying nearby, particularly in low-visibility conditions. They’ll be available at the start of next year.

Global Solar debuted flexible, lightweight solar modules that can be fitted on the flat rooftops of commercial buildings through glue or be incorporated into the roofing material. The company announced last Tuesday the PowerFlex BIPV modules will cost about the same as traditional, heavier, glass-plated crystalline silicon panels that require installed racking systems.

Waste Management has acquired a majority interest in Garick, an organic lawn and garden product maker that will expand WM’s organics recycling services. Garick brings a million tons of processing capacity, and the company said the collaboration could lead to development of composting and bagging services at their trash facilities. Though WM is a trash company, GigaOm notes that its acquisition and investment strategy rivals that of a high-tech firm like Cisco.

Tags: composting, data center power, LED, Recovery Act, server cooling, Smart Grid, solar energy, solar modules, waste

Companies: A123, Cisco, Garick, Global Solar, Green Revolution Cooling, Gridpoint, itron, Obelux, Silver Spring, Waste Management

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