New aerial images of Apple's planned NC fuel cell, solar farms emerge

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  • digitalclipsdigitalclips Posts: 15,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LMGS View Post


    I guess Apple has found a way to waste some of the cash they have laying around, and at the same time get some good PR from the tree huggers...



    What they need is a small nuclear power plant, like the ones used in aircraft carriers... It's the cleanest energy around..



    This company has a pretty nice solution: http://www.gen4energy.com/
  • macky the mackymacky the macky Posts: 4,622member
    Imagine if only Apple could harness all the hot gases produced by all the Apple fans and haters on all the blogs such as this one.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadow415 View Post


    Having been involved in the design and construction of large data centers, actual usage is nowhere near the maximum design rating of 200W psf.



    High density computing can't really be calculated by watts per sq. ft. with any accuracy. It really depends on too many factors. Even if you figured 1/3 of your area was filled with servers, theoretically each 44U rack could be capable of using 50kW. Then you have to double that for cooling and then double that again for 2N redundancy. So you really need a lot of capacity to run a modern datacenter. Getting that power from multiple sources is a good idea. Just like financial planning, diversifying your sources of power is better than having only one source.



    Apple is using:



    Grid power probably from Duke Energy oil and coal fired plants

    Natural gas fuel cells

    Solar energy

    Back up - Diesel Generators and UPS batteries



    When this story first surfaced months ago, there was discussion that they could put some solar on the roof and I had mentioned that there was a chance that there would be AC units on the roof. All we had to go on were some photos of the building under construction. I wish there were higher res photos available, however, it is now evident from the completed building image that they are using chilled water for their cooling, so no AC on the roof. The roof was probably not designed for the structural load of any utility equipment up there, hence the separate adjacent land.



    I wonder how modularized the computing environment is inside. As I recall from some early interior images it didn't look like much modularization, but more of a traditional raised floor design. There are some new rack designs that incorporate chilled water cooling right inside the rack itself as a way to increase efficiency by only cooling the actual servers and not the surrounding space.
  • tyler82tyler82 Posts: 524member
    Solar is one of the best investments for an energy source- it guarantees you a set energy rate while traditional utility rates rise 3-8% a year. The size of the space used for the solar farm goes to show how much power these server farms use. Only 9% is a very low number. Perhaps Apple can have the building audited once its operational and they can find ways to conserve energy use further which would lower their dependence on the grid.
  • tcaseytcasey Posts: 199member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LMGS View Post


    I guess Apple has found a way to waste some of the cash they have laying around, and at the same time get some good PR from the tree huggers...



    What they need is a small nuclear power plant, like the ones used in aircraft carriers... It's the cleanest energy around..



    You should tell the people in japan that nuclear power is the cleanest power around..its strange the govt. has closed down all nuclear power plants and are now looking for new sources of power, that does not require perm destroying japan and wipe out its people.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    High density computing can't really be calculated by watts per sq. ft. with any accuracy. It really depends on too many factors. Even if you figured 1/3 of your area was filled with servers, theoretically each 44U rack could be capable of using 50kW. Then you have to double that for cooling and then double that again for 2N redundancy. So you really need a lot of capacity to run a modern datacenter.



    That's a little naive. Anyone planning a data center has to have some idea of the power usage. What I did was look up the average for large data centers and it was around 50 kW / ft2. Considering that many of them are older and that Apple presumably be putting more than a little energy into data efficiency, my 30 kW / ft2 figure is probably not too far off.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Heck... Why don't they just scoop up all the pine straw they can find... Hint, think CRAPTON! and just use that as a power plant fuel?



    Look we can pick apart every alt energy and show how it's totally unusable to replace oil and coal it's fun to read the laundry lst of points that show how solar cant even break even however if we did the same thing with oil I'm pretty sure we could make just as compelling a case as to why oil is a failure. Apple is doing a good thing here just let em be...



    The problem can be clearly bee seen in the waste of land in these photos. Solar electric has its uses as supplemental power if incorporated into a acolytes structure. Here we see over a hundred acres wasted for a facility that will never cover all of the facilities energy need. That is an incredibly sad sight to see.



    In a nut shell the mad rush to solar electric will result in far more environmental damage than any other source of so called green energy. This is the problem amply demonstrated by the arial photos. Frankly it is far more damaging than strip mining as at least the land can be turned back to nature after resources extraction.



    I'm all for better sources of energy but covering the planet in solar electric plants is one hedious thought.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LMGS View Post


    I guess Apple has found a way to waste some of the cash they have laying around, and at the same time get some good PR from the tree huggers...



    What they need is a small nuclear power plant, like the ones used in aircraft carriers... It's the cleanest energy around..



    What the country needs is diversication into alternate sources of nuclear power. The unfortunate reality is that almost every single research dollar for future nuclear systems goes into one system. A system by the way that has seen little success in the last 25 years or so. Instead we need to get the government to fund a diversity of possible paths to new nuclear energy systems.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Well let's hope they got some great deals on those solar panels during the auctioning off of Solyndra, that, along with the purchase of a few Chevy Volts to traverse the complex ought to make it the greenest fuel cell, solar farm in NC... Well, except for all the missing green trees, shrubs, and grass... </facetious>

    /

    /

    /



    Those trees, shrubs and grass are very important to A continued high quality of life on this planet. Hopefully people will wise up about solar electric on this scale.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    That's a little naive. Anyone planning a data center has to have some idea of the power usage. What I did was look up the average for large data centers and it was around 50 kW / ft2. Considering that many of them are older and that Apple presumably be putting more than a little energy into data efficiency, my 30 kW / ft2 figure is probably not too far off.



    Like I said, there are too many variables to simply quote average watts per sq. ft. For example, if you have a chiller room, it is occupying sq. footage and uses a tremendous amount of energy per sq. ft. where as AC on the roof uses a lot of energy but is not considered sq. footage at all. 30kW per sq. ft. is a pretty high, but irrelevant, in my opinion, because to properly design a datacenter you have to break down the individual components and calculate how much they need, not just take an average, however, shadow415's 200W is just way off the mark which is what my comment was referring to. I just wasn't in arrogant attack mode so you may have thought I was agreeing with him or possibly disagreeing with you, which I was not, in either case.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Until it comes time to decommission the plant or dispose of the spent fuel. Then it is far from the cleanest.



    The problem is the lack of a willingness to address the waste issue. There are solutions just that people fear what they don't understand.

    Quote:



    And IMO, it has been demonstrated that the engineers, regulators and suits cannot be trusted to design and maintain nuclear plants with sufficient safety factors in place.



    Even the worst situation on the planet right now, in Japan, has not harmed the world as much as coal has. In many ways people's fear over nuclear is largely over stated.

    Quote:



    But yes, they are free from toxic emissions during normal use.



    Yes, and frankly this is a dramatic difference over other sources of energy. Coal is extremely dirty and very toxic and yet we tolerate the damage these plants do every day. I'm not talking CO2 here either which more BS than anything.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdamC View Post


    Laugh all you like I hope this is the final legacy of SJ that is disrupting the the oil based energy industry with renewable energy.



    I'm not sure where you get your information but very little electricity comes from oil in this country. If you believe Wikipedia it is around 1%.

    Quote:



    I would like to see in my life time the clowns eating crows for lunch and dinner.



    You might as well eat that crow yourself.

    Quote:



    An after thought would oil price be what it is today in the year 2018. I just wonder.



    The price of oil isn't a huge factor in the price of electricity.
  • cgjcgj Posts: 276member
    Good to see Apple leading the pack with regards to green energy, want to see more of this.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tcasey View Post


    You should tell the people in japan that nuclear power is the cleanest power around..its strange the govt. has closed down all nuclear power plants and are now looking for new sources of power, that does not require perm destroying japan and wipe out its people.



    I still fully support nuclear energy.



    Japanese government were just stupid to place such a facility in a zone near an earthquake zone. whereas in Britain, the biggest earthquakes we get are 2.7 on the Richter scale.
  • sflocalsflocal Posts: 3,473member
    I don't care how the tree huggers whine about it. I think the clear-cutting of pristine land that supports ecosystems to install acres of solar arrays that take immense resources and some of the nastiest environmentally-damaging chemicals to manufacture just so some eco-huggers and claim "green" is a bad idea.



    I really want to believe in green energy and I hate coal-burners, but the reality is that this is more PR to shut the mouths of eco-whiners than anything else. What we need seriously is more investment in alternative energies, especially nuclear. Someday, I'd love to include fusion but that most likely will not happen in my lifetime.



    If we can produce small-scale nuclear reactors that are just big enough to power huge centers like these, using modern technologies and safety protocols, that would just pave the way for more advanced units down the road.



    If environmentally-friendly solar panels can be manufactured, and with increased light-energy ratios, sign me up. I'd love to see every rooftop, both personal and commercial fitted with solar panels like these with serious government incentives as well. All those millions of acres of empty rooftops would do much better than razing acres of habitats.



    I'll most likely get flamed for this but the world cannot sustain itself with solar and wind. Anyone believing otherwise needs to approach me to purchase that bridge I'm selling for $1.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    I'll most likely get flamed for this but the world cannot sustain itself with solar and wind.



    Apparently the world did sustain itself with only solar and wind for millions of years. Maybe that wasn't the problem...hmm, what could it be?
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    How much more will it cost to maintain all those solar cells and biogas than just buy some mass produced energy from the local power company? One of these days all these little extra expenses are going to add up and Apple will find themselves unable to compete.



    Apple is doomed.?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


    That's one expensive 9.8% worth of energy source..



    This has been clarified as essentially a wrong claim in a couple of posts, yet people keep referring to it in subsequent posts....



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LMGS View Post


    I guess Apple has found a way to waste some of the cash they have laying around, and at the same time get some good PR from the tree huggers...



    It is not necessarily a waste of cash, as has been pointed out.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LMGS View Post


    What they need is a small nuclear power plant, like the ones used in aircraft carriers... It's the cleanest energy around..



    This is not a bad idea, but small scale nuclear is not ready for prime time yet. People expect that it will take another decade or so.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post


    I hope the thing is tornado proof.



    Wow, we have a winner!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post


    Well, they are getting 1% return on the cash. I suspect the return on the solar will be better.



    ROI is a screwy concept when interest rates are so low and the cost of money (if you have it) is almost nil.



    The appropriate opportunity cost of capital to benchmark this - or any other - project is not the return on cash.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by audio_inside View Post


    Calling these "biogas" is a stretch - they will initially (perhaps permanently) be running on Piedmont's natural gas derived from fracking, with future biogas "offsets" to be eventually produced and utilized off-site. And solid oxide fuel cells like the Bloom Box aren't pollution free - unless you don't consider carbon dioxide a pollutant: SOFCs running on natural gas rather than pure hydrogen still produce CO2 at close to half the level of a traditional fossil fuel-powered plant. [Data from "The International Fuel Cells, a United Technology Company", Fuel Cells Review, 2000.]



    Yes, it will emit CO2, but far less than if the equivalent power was being supplied by local utilities.





    Oh, what the heck, I give up...... too much FUD.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,991member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macky the macky View Post


    imagine if only apple could harness all the hot gases produced by all the apple fans and haters on all the blogs such as this one.



    +1...
  • gtrgtr Posts: 3,177member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


    Imagine if only Apple could harness all the hot gases produced by all the Apple fans and haters on all the blogs such as this one.



    Apple could design a new keyboard that takes ten percent of the kinetic energy from each keystroke, converts it into electricity, then transfers that to some central collection point ready to be used.



    As an added bonus, running off the kinetic energy of 'lovers' and 'haters' would guarantee 100% uptime.



    They could also re-invent the layout for maximum efficiency while they're at it:



  • jr_bjr_b Posts: 60member
    It's better for Apple, it's shareholders and customers to spend cash on alternative energy than giving money to electric companies and making others rich. I only wish it could utilize more solar power in it's California operations. Hopefully they are purchasing natural gas as cheaply as possible.
  • macquestmacquest Posts: 30member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveN View Post


    I hope the thing is tornado proof.



    It probably will not only be tornado proof, but will be a tornado maker as well!
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