North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Now:Power/Generators (Was: Re[2]: telehouse - 25 broadway)

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sun Sep 16 18:45:32 2001

As I keep saying, I don't have the full story about what has
happened and need to wait until the final report is completed
before predicting whether any alternative design would have
performed better.

In addition to electric service, gas service and steam service
in lower Manhattan has been disrupted.  Turbines relying on natural
gas could have also been disrupted.  I don't know if the level of
dust and debris would have also impacted a turbine's ability to
generate power.  I have a hard time believing an airfilter would not
need to be changed for a year operating in those conditions.

Full disclosure: I design high-end colocation facilities for a
living.  Without knowing the full story, I can't say any design
would have performed better.  But I can say, the people trying to
keep things running are doing an exceptional job under unforseen

On Sun, 16 September 2001, Robert Boyle wrote:
> In our new datacenter in Newton, NJ, we are in the process of getting RFPs 
> to install Capstone micro turbines for backup power. They are DESIGNED to 
> run for 8,000 hours before the first maintenance is needed. At 333 days (8k 
> hours) an airfilter should be changed. They can run for 60 months 24/7 
> before a rebuild is needed. They need a tuneup kit at 24 and 48 months 
> (assuming 24/7 service) at a cost of $2700 per service. They are impressive 
> units, but... 1. They give off extreme amounts of heat (which can be used 
> to heat your building), 2. they rely on natural or LP gas. 3. they are VERY 
> expensive compared to diesel gensets - 2-4 times as much per Kw! A 60kW 
> unit costs $69,775 A 28kW unit is $45,582. They can be ganged together to 
> provide N+1 redundancy and load sharing.
> I have no financial interest in the company, but they seem to be the only 
> game in town with a unit with EXTREME runtimes. Does anyone else use these 
> at their datacenter(s)?