back to article Facebook vows to blow EVEN HARDER

It seems Facebook's experience with wind power has been good enough for the personalised ads giant to come back for more. The company's west region director of data centre operations Ken Patchett announced that Facebook's next data centre will land in Fort Worth, Texas, and will mimic its Iowa bit-barn by using 100 per cent …

  1. JP19

    "by using 100 per cent wind power"

    More 100 per cent bullshit so I'll just say what I said about the last one :-

    If Facebook shut down this data centre when the wind didn't blow they could claim 100%.

    But then they would have to build an equally big data centre powered by something else to take the load and have that one standing idle when it is windy.

    Instead they can abuse the grid using it as a giant free storage battery and make the power generation companies build enough power stations to keep the lights on when it isn't windy and have them stand idle or run less efficiently when it is and we the net electricity consumers end up paying for it.

    So thanks Facebook for putting up my electricity bills with your efforts to appease technically illiterate eco green tossers with your 100% claims

    1. Tom Samplonius

      Re: "by using 100 per cent wind power"

      "...abuse the grid using..."

      Umm, no. They are the anchor tenant for the wind farm, which itself is a business enterprise. And with time-of-day billing, there is no "abuse" of the grid. Peak time KWh's cost more than offpeak hours. Winds farms will produce a predictable amount of KWh's per month, though not always at peak times, but it balances out. And the data centre uses a constant amount of power 24x7. Or maybe it doesn't. Google can turn data centres down, when load drops. No reason why Facebook can't run a data centre 12 hours a day. Or just the 12 hours, when the wind is blowing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "by using 100 per cent wind power"

        @Tom,

        There is always 'abuse of the grid' when any wind or solar power is connected to it. This is very evident when the law says that energy suppliers MUST take the renewable energy first but they MUST ALSO be ready to supply base load. Wind, and solar, will never supply base load therefore the energy suppliers have to keep hot spinning reserve on line to take the load when the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine. This is the most inefficient use of generation capacity and increases the output of the deadly plant food CO2.

  2. Charles Manning

    So where's all the green paint coming from?

    Forth Worth is khaki brown at best. The picture shows it all being green. Bullshit.

    1. jzl

      Re: So where's all the green paint coming from?

      Have you been?

  3. Notas Badoff

    They're in the wrong business

    ... will “be cooled using outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioner” in spite of Texas summer temperatures.

    If they can do this for themselves then why aren't they selling this cool technology to the masses? If you've ever been to north Texas in the summer you'll know it isn't just ice that's melting, it's asphalt also!

    Unless what they really mean is that the "outdoor air" is moving some large fan blades somewhere nearby... Really, I'm completely mystified at this throw away comment. Sounds like magic.

    1. jzl

      Re: They're in the wrong business

      Maybe they're just running their data centre warm? After all, 40 degrees Celsius is uncomfortable for a human but fine for electronics.

      As long as they're dumping excess heat from the place as fast as they're producing it and keeping the temperature steady, it doesn't matter too much if that steady temperature is a little high. The challenge is that warm air doesn't have the cooling ability of cold air, so they'd have to pump more of it through and would have to be very careful about making sure the cooling was even.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They're in the wrong business

        "Maybe they're just running their data centre warm? After all, 40 degrees Celsius is uncomfortable for a human but fine for electronics."

        Exactly. Assuming a case temperature of around 60C is allowed, then 40C air simply needs twice the flow of 20C air to remove the same amount of heat (Newton's Law). The wonders of modern technology mean that circuit boards can be designed for good airflow rather than "hope the wind blows here". In an unattended data centre noisy fans are not a problem. If SSDs are being used rather than HDDs, reliability should be fine. On the other hand, the potential cost savings are large.

  4. Mer Ner
    Alert

    If South Park has taught me anything, we should beware the smug pollution.

  5. Fred Tourette

    Fans Blow, Turbines Suck

    Turbines don't really suck - more collect or absorb - but it's closer to Facebook. Poetic license.

  6. jzl

    Fungibility

    It's great news that Facebook are effectively part funding a new wind farm. That's a whole load of good publicity for renewable energy at a time when it's weirdly trendy to deny global warming, at least among non-scientists.

    But on a pedantic, nit-picking and trivial level, I don't see how they can say the data centre is powered by renewable energy. Electricity is fungible and they are connected to a grid containing other producers and consumers.

  7. hi_robb

    Erm...

    Wind powered data centres, they have their fans....

    D

    1. jzl

      Re: Erm...

      Are you a father? With jokes like that, you should be.

  8. Richard Wharram

    This is perfectly 'normal' for a datacentre

    I've reviewed many a document or RFP response where the provider claims that all their energy is 100% renewable and (a few sentences on) that they are supplied by dual-feeds from the gas-turbine plant down the road.

    What they mean is that they pay their energy provider to be on their renewable tariff. The provider ensures they have bought enough energy from renewable sources to cover those on the renewable tariff. Individual electrons don't give a shit about renewable or not.

    Also I'd still dispute the 100% wind-powered claim. Are they claiming they don't have diesel generators that they swap over to on a regular basis to test the resilience? Not much of a datacentre if true.

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