Originally Posted by jragosta
I didn't say it WAS done that way, I said it COULD BE done that way. There would be some minor efficiency loss to putting the units on the ground, but it isn't impossible (lots if buildings do it that way).
Clearly, Apple has a reason for putting them on the roof. I don't have any idea what it is, so I can't say if they made the right decision or not. I'm simply saying that it's POSSIBLE to put them on the ground.
Clearly. So let's review - you can't put the solar collectors on the roof because it is filled up with air conditioners. So let's put the solar collectors on the ground. Sounds reasonable.
No, Jragosta says scratch that idea. Let's put the air conditioners on the ground so we can put the solar collectors on the roof. What exactly is to be gained? Nothing!
I don't think you understand the density of the AC units. They are placed about every 12m apart, covering the entire roof. To allocate that much space on the ground would put your cooling source 100s meters away from the space to be cooled. With the direct overhead model the condenser, coil, fan, return air are all enclosed in a single unit only a few meters from the heat source. It just makes no sense to do it otherwise.
Let's leave the engineering to the engineers. Apple didn't just have an intern draw up the plans in OmniGraffle. I think they probably considered all the factors involved.