Taming your PC’s thirst for power

Some very interesting stuff indeed.

"The IT industry needs to look to the bigger picture — and soon, says MacNeill. By 2010, U.S. data centres will not be able to operate unless more power plants are constructed in nearby communities. Without action, towns housing data centres could face persistent blackouts."

http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1056571.html

Wayne

Comments

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    A lot of data centers are going to hydrogen fuel cells for consistent off-grid or backup power. I agree though, that the thirst for energy continues and it will only escalate in the future.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    hydrokevin wrote: »
    A lot of data centers are going to hydrogen fuel cells for consistent off-grid or backup power. I agree though, that the thirst for energy continues and it will only escalate in the future.


    Ahhh they are drinking the hydrogen kool-aid I see.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,987 ✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    Hyrdogen is a scam, More like someone is promoting the kool-air as a wizzbang cureall

    Some issues, Hydrogen has to be made, thats needs HUGE amounts of energy and the process of creatnig Hydrogen, then the inefficiency of using it as an enegry storage device and then the fuel-cell to make it back into electricity is VERY inefficient.

    Batterys are more efficient, but then thats not so cool for the trolls and its not so far off to scare big Oil ....

    Just the process of converting HYdrogen into electricity is at BEST 60%
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_cell, typically 20-30%

    Then there is the cryogenics of the storage, the issue of the size of the molecules that make metals seem porus ... ect ect ect
  • Lefty WrightLefty Wright Solar Expert Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    During my career as an electrician I built many data processing centers.

    All of them had a diesel generator for back up power. This would get them back on line before the UPS batteries went flat.

    I can see value in solar powered fuel cells making hydrogen for kitchen ranges and water heaters. How far away is that?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    I can see value in solar powered fuel cells making hydrogen for kitchen ranges and water heaters. How far away is that?

    It's very far away. As pointed out earlier, till a super-catalyst is discovered, it takes a lot more energy to break the H-2o bond, than is released when they re-join.

    This covers all the "Browns Gas" and "Run your Car on Water" discussions too.

    Much easier to reflect sunlight and make Hot Rocks to drop into water to make it boil for your soup.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    huh, never tried that
    hydrogen power was invented to give the government an appearance of being concerned with fuel costs/emissions and our energy future, for the last few yrs. or at least thats a slightly modified version of my beliefs :)
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Much easier to reflect sunlight and make Hot Rocks to drop into water to make it boil for your soup.
  • rickeolisrickeolis Solar Expert Posts: 110 ✭✭✭✭
    H2O

    Someone on TV just made the right claim to the problem with hydrogen: "It takes electricity to seperate the hydrogen from the oxygen to make a fuel, so why not bypass all that by using the electricity in the first place..."

    -Rick-
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    Recharge time is the issue. You can refill a tank of gas in less than 10 minutes, but it takes several hours to recharge a battery pack. To bypass this step we need a way to recharge batteries from dead to full in 10 minutes without blowing them up or setting them on fire. When we can recharge batteries in 10 minutes and have 300 to 500 miles of range from them, battery technology will be where it needs to be, at least for automobiles. Until then hydrogen's a better bet.

    We can leave off about hydrogen's ability to seep out of a metal tank due to the size of the atom, because the seepage won't matter a whole lot when the tank is being drained and refilled on a constant basis. The seepage can be equated to gasoline vapors escaping from our cars today. Yes, it's a problem but it's not a dealbreaker.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,642 admin
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    It sounds like we have some pretty successful battery powered cars already (the old GM and Toyota RAV4) that are really useful as cars (locking doors, heat/ac, etc.)... The people that had/have them like them. Maintenance has been good, and more people have been on the waiting lists than cars actually produced.

    Within its limitations, an electric car is a pretty good product.

    Problems--the faster you can charge the battery, IMHO, the more danger there is with accidents and mfg. defects (see laptop computer battery fires). At this time, I will take slower charge over less safety, less reliability, and higher costs.

    My own "tin foil hat" reason we have not seen electric cars but seen hydrogen cars pushed by government--taxes... Today you can plug an electric car into you home and bypass road taxes (in Europe, road taxes have been 50-70%+ of the price of their gasoline--the governments over there cannot live with a switch to a non-taxable fuel).... Hence Hydrogen--no home source (even natural gas cars can be home fueled and bypass road taxes with reasonably priced home high pressure compressors).

    I am still trying to understand the push for hydrogen over natural gas "fueled cars"... If it is not taxes--and if you accept that fuel cells are too expensive (noble metals, relatively short life, still need batteries to supply high starting loads)--then why hydrogen?

    Lastly, the small hydrogen molecule leaking is not the fundamental problem--hydrogen embritalment (hydrogen atoms getting into the base material molecular structure) is a huge problem. Also, those "small leaks" can add up to large losses of energy (well over 5%, last I recall seeing).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    Telco wrote: »
    Until then hydrogen's a better bet.

    If we can make the hydrogen, (expensive to crack it from water), we can combine it with "carbon" and make whatever hydrocarbon fuel we need. We can utilize existing fuel transport system and stations, and not have to build an entire global infrastructure. (that's got to be factored as part of the cost of switching to hydrogen) (and it's not fossil carbon, just using existing carbon)

    Short range EV's [40 mile range] would cover much of the existing transport needs, greatly reducing our need for existing fossil fuel requirements. Getting the 300 mi tankfull capacity can be dealt with later. Currently, we NEED to get off gas as much as possible

    Even a coal power plant running at 45% eff, transmission lines, and nighttime charging, is better than an ICE at 12%.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    BB. wrote: »
    My own "tin foil hat" reason we have not seen electric cars but seen hydrogen cars pushed by government--taxes...

    Interesting. Had not thought about that. Never underestimate the government's ability to tax something. As The Beatles said, "if you drive a car, I’ll tax the street."
  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    Yes, this can be done, that can be done, this is the reason, that is the reason, but none of you are addressing an important part of the equation: the users. Putting up one or two successful cars does not hold a mirror to the general population. The models listed are meeting a niche market, not the common market. And, being as you are hanging out on sites like this one, you may be forgetting that not everybody thinks as the people here do.

    90 percent of the people with cars don't care about anything other than being able to get in their car and go. Refuelling, even when fuel was cheap, is seen as a necessary evil that they want to get over with as quickly and cheaply as possible. These are the same people that either skimp on their maintenance until the car breaks down, or take them to the dealer and say "Have at it!" These are NOT people who are going to readily accept having to plug their cars in at night and as they are the majority customers the manufacturers will continue to cater to them.

    These people are also not going to accept a 40 mile per day limitation even if their commute is 10 miles round trip. The logic is, you never know when you will have to drop everything and drive across the country. I know because this is why I don't have an EV, and why I won't until I can work out a way to get a 300 mile range with a 10 minute refuel. Nobody wants to have a commuter car for daily driving with a long distance car that they have to pay to maintain and insure but only need a few times a year. Renting is expensive enough that you may as well own a second car unless your long distance trips take place less than about 3 times a year. For myself, I make regular 300 mile round trip runs to visit family and check on out of state property.

    Now hydrogen, in addition to the whole tax thing, is also something that can be refueled in a few minutes as opposed to overnight, giving you unlimited range. A hydrogen vehicle will not have the speed or range limitations of an EV. This means you buy one car and it does it all. From the consumer's point of view, hydrogen is the best choice because of this. And, as existing engine designs can be easily converted to burn hydrogen, this works out to the advantage of the automakers as they don't have to retool whole cars, just the intake and fueling system with the added advantage of dropping all the exhaust emissions gear.

    When thinking about all this, try thinking of it from the standpoint of the selfish consumer, not one of the minions of Captain Planet. There are about 150 selfish consumers for every private in Captain Planet's army, and the auto makers know this. Hemming and hawing about advantages and costs isn't going to matter either, as long as the majority only care about convenience.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    Telco wrote: »
    I won't until I can work out a way to get a 300 mile range with a 10 minute refuel.

    Have you looked into a "range extender" power trailer ?
    photos http://www.evmaine.org/html/ev_trailers.html

    http://www.acpropulsion.com/reports/Low_Emiss_Range_Ext.pdf
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    Toms Hardware has a new article out about SSD (solid state drives) for computers, and came up with them being a power hog !!
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-hdd-battery,1955.html

    I suppose if you test the Fastest SSD's, always access them, you can burn the watts. My experience has been, with my homemade drive, using a CF flash card from a camera (half the speed of the stock IDE drive), that the entire front half of the PC (where the drive lives) went from nearly too hot to use the keyboard, to ambient temp. Had to be saving some power. Battery is dead on the laptop, so I could not compare runtimes.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • TelcoTelco Solar Expert Posts: 201 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    mike90045 wrote: »

    Yup, only without the trailer.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power
    Telco wrote: »
    90 percent of the people with cars don't care about anything other than being able to get in their car and go. Refuelling, even when fuel was cheap, is seen as a necessary evil that they want to get over with as quickly and cheaply as possible. These are the same people that either skimp on their maintenance until the car breaks down, or take them to the dealer and say "Have at it!" These are NOT people who are going to readily accept having to plug their cars in at night and as they are the majority customers the manufacturers will continue to cater to them.

    how many people do you know who come home and plug in their cell phones every night.. it becomes second nature.. I'm sure people won't even care about it after they drive by that gas station and not have to stop. especially if it's raining :)

    People make up the stupidest excuses because they're afraid of change..
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Taming your PC’s thirst for power

    i recently picked up one of the MSI Wind laptop pc's to run my offgrid webserver on, it features the intel atom processor which I hate to say is even better than the via C7-M processor i was using (being a big via fan). the new system uses a standard sata laptop drive (not flash like the ee pc) and runs around 14 watts with the screen on and the disk spinning, about 11 watts idling with the lid closed. i cant remember if that was with or without the usb webcam hooked up, but its definitely just as fast as the via and lower power!
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