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RE: California electric power on the ragged edge

  • From: Greg A. Woods
  • Date: Fri Aug 04 11:50:09 2000

[ On Friday, August 4, 2000 at 08:25:49 (-0700), Roeland M.J. Meyer wrote: ]
> Subject: RE: California electric power on the ragged edge 
> Wouldn't work. Many have the large battery packs in their UPS
> systems. However, every Kwh you sell back reduces your power-fail
> reserves by that same amount. You would actually have to
> over-build reserve capacity in order to do this and still survive
> a power outage.

That's what I meant -- build enough battery capacity so that not only do
you only need to buy cheap power (eg. at night) but you can also survive
overnight without any power if necessary.  You still might end up buying
some expensive power, but on average that would be offset by your
ability to sell power back to the grid in times of plenty (i.e. when the
wind blows and the sun shines!).

> Wind and solar power options are geo-physically
> dependent. In the Altamount pass, the windmills don't turn all
> the time and they use huge tracts of acreage. In the Silly-cone
> valley, most of them wouldn't run at all, ever. 

Oh well -- moving a datacentre to the top of a windy hill isn't going to
fly either....   :-)

> By the same token
> solar panels, for a data center, eat up much more square footage
> than is available

That's why you need multiple sources.....

> (although covering every roof-top with solar
> panels might really add credence to the name "Silicon Valley").

now that's a good idea!

> There is also the issue of remembering what the core business is
> and avoiding dilution of efforts.

If the core business has as one of it's core requirements a secure
source of energy then that is your business too.  If you can't buy such
a secure supply from the local utilities then you're definitely going to
have to consider other ways of creating it yourself.  Here in the north
central part of Toronto I've had my UPS' kick in at most once per year.
However if I were in some mostly residential parts of any community in
the outlying regions I'd probably have to have a generator to backup the
UPS, and it's beginning to look like those of you in Sunny California
are going to have to go even one step further and operate your own more
reliable long-term generating facilities.  If things get really bad then
you might even be able to run them 24x7 during some times of year and
sell your excess power back (or to your neighbours) at a profit even if
it is from diesel!

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <[email protected]>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <[email protected]>; Secrets of the Weird <[email protected]>