Bishop Diego High School was busy over the holiday break replacing dozens of older tower-style PC’s with 36 new NComputing virtual workstation devices. Virtualization, a technology where dozens of PC’s are replaced with one large server, is sweeping the corporate world in an attempt to control costs and reduce energy consumption. Paul Harrington, Bishop’s Head of School, saw that energy and maintenance costs would climb if the school continued purchasing traditional desktop and laptop PC’s. “We saw a golden opportunity to complement our solar electric program by substantially reducing our electrical consumption. Each virtual PC consumes only 5 watts compared to 100 watts for older equipment.”

Bishop’s first stage of PC virtualization uses 36 L300 devices manufactured by Silicon Valley based NComputing. About the size of a deck of cards, these electronic units capture the students typing and mouse movements and transmits them over the campus network to a central server where their computation and file storage takes place. The server transmits desktop images back to the students’ monitor just like it would if they were attached to a local PC. Students do not notice any change other than the PC box that sat on their desk is now gone.

Chris Giles, a member of Bishop’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Technology Committee, sees the green PC program as one part of an overall conservation program. “The cheapest and greenest watt of energy is the one you don’t consume. These new workstations make a big dent in our daily electrical consumption. The completion of Phase II of our solar installation coupled with the NComputing technology means Southern California Edison is going to be missing our business every month!”

Phase II of the Bishop Solar project is comprised of 160 SunPower 228P modules and 22 SunPower 230 watt modules. Six SunPower 6000m inverters and one 5000m inverter were added to complete the system. Bishop Diego High School is still the only school in the city to have solar technology up and running. The total combined production of Phase I and II is approximately 115,000 kWh annually.


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