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Apple's North Carolina Data Center Will Feature Biogas Generators

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the iHippies-guilt-over-worker-abuses-assuaged dept.

Power 68

1sockchuck writes "Apple's North Carolina data center will tap landfills for biogas, which will then be converted into electricity using fuel cells from Bloom Energy. The 24 'Bloom boxes' will have a capacity of 4.8 megawatts of power, and along with a large solar array, will provide Apple with a significant on-site generation of sustainable energy. Microsoft is also developing biogas-powered data plants where modular data centers will be housed near water treatment plants and landfills. GigaOm has a useful primer on biogas in data centers, as well as video of the new higher capacity Bloom boxes that will support Apple's server farm."

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68 comments

Bloom Energy? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854697)

I thought "biogas" referred to bovine flatulence.

Re:Bloom Energy? (4, Funny)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854893)

I thought "biogas" referred to bovine flatulence.

A bit pedantic, but cows mostly belch gas rather than fart - so do make sure you connect the pipe to the right end.

Re:Bloom Energy? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855427)

You peeked!
Apples new data center features office chairs that look amazingly like a cross between an iMac and a toilet. Apple thinks different and it shows ,when they capture every bit of flattus. Not only that but each iCubicle will have a belch vent. Cattle were actually the inspiration and have been if you've noticed the iPhone/iPad factorys.
Apple gives to their employees and expects them to give back. You realize they bar-b-q at lunch breaks, right? Mounds of baked beans, greasy burgers, bratwurst, Cole slaw. They know which end to put the fuel in, gotta hand it to them. Macs come out the other end.

Re:Bloom Energy? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855603)

Just put them in a dome. Let gravity do natural fracturing. Given a large enough dome and enough cows you could probably run near for ever.

Difficulty: Clear dome so that grass grows.

Re:Bloom Energy? (2)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854925)

This definition has now been reinvented and now magically includes flatulence from Apple employees.

Re:Bloom Energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854969)

and patented

Re:Bloom Energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854983)

Obviously.

Cabbage agaaaain? (2)

unix_core (943019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855235)

Now I see the real purpose behind that private restaurant at Apple they where talking about! "Pea soup and cabbage today again??"

Re:Bloom Energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857111)

With the amount ob Bullshit the Apple-Marketing-Guys produce, they could probably fuel the whole US without problems...

Are Apple's data centers really news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854717)

Last time I checked other than iTunes Apple doesn't really have any massive public facing services. At least not compared to the scale that Amazon and Google have.

Re:Are Apple's data centers really news? (3, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854819)

Each standard def movie is around a gig of data. High def can be several times that. Add up music and apps and you might be shocked how much data Apple transports through their data centers. On top of that there's the OS and other Apple software from their non handheld app store. There is also their on line storage of data and other services. The Apple data centers transfer massive amounts of data so using renewable sources is a very good thing. Most of Amazon's business is physical not digital where as iTunes is all digital. Google is pure on-line so they eat a lot of bandwidth. I say good for Apple for trying to offset energy usage with more sustainable sources.

Re:Are Apple's data centers really news? (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854963)

You do realise that the iTunes music store is the largest online music and video retailer in the world (yes, bigger than Amazon); and the iTunes app store isn't the largest online app store right?

And that's completely ignoring the fact that they have an enormous cloud operation syncing iDevices and Macs constantly.

fart boxes (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854729)

"The 24 'Bloom boxes' will have a capacity of 4.8 megawatts of power"

I wonder how long it will take before they'll be called "fart boxes", eventually?

Or something to that effect.

Re:fart boxes (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854759)

they're gonna go bankrupt anyways after I invent working cold fusion.

Biogas generators (1)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854757)

Biogas generators, as in... cows?

Re:Biogas generators (1, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855303)

Biogas generators, as in... cows?

Biogas generators, as in apple fanbois:

Zombie Steve Jobs: I have come to you from the grave to give you but one command, oh followers, and it is this: fart into the tubes!

It wouldn't surprise me all that much, since Apple fanbois constantly fart their indoctrinated nonsense on the intertubes.

So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854785)

I've been generating biogas my whole life.

Bloom box "fuel cells" a hoax? (3, Interesting)

saccade.com (771661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854809)

Our company has several Bloom boxes. Natural gas in, electricity out. They're -very- noisy, and you can can see soot forming around exhaust vents on the top. Are they really fuel cells, or...gas turbine generators? Gas-fired boiler heats H2O to steam, pushes it through a turbine mechanical generator, H2O condenses. This would explain the noise and the soot.

Anybody seen the insides of a Bloom box?

Re:Bloom box "fuel cells" a hoax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855587)

They are high temperature fuel cells, so they're basically burning methane with a catalyst to produce electricity directly.

Re:Bloom box "fuel cells" a hoax? (1)

jbengt (874751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856279)

As I understand it, they use heat and catalysts? to crack methane into hydrogen and carbon monoxide? use the hydrogen to produce electricity, like any fuel cell, and burn the carbon monoxide to discharge carbon dioxide and heat. I may have the details wrong, though, they don't tend to publish technical information in these types of stories.

That's some innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854813)

meanwhile, all google can think of is switching off the lights!

http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/super-secret-google-builds-servers-in-the-dark.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:That's some innovation (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854907)

switching off the lights is an instant, free saving.

why not do both?

or is this your personal pissing contest by proxy of apple being the bestest at everything? weird.

Re:That's some innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854937)

Sarcastic humour perhaps?

For you to imagine that it's someones pissing contest actually says rather a lot about your mind set and point of view

And here I thought.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854833)

And here I thought the only thing Apple recycled was the iPod. First the iPod. Then the iPod, 3G edition. Then the iPod displayless/TV edition, then the iPod XL. Soon we'll have the iPod 4G/LTE edition. Maybe they'll bless us with an iPod XXL (Apple branded TVs) soon, too.

Re:And here I thought.. (1)

bn-7bc (909819) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855565)

Hmm Ipod 4G/LTE That sounds more like iPhone5 (what ever apple decides to call it)(if it's going to get LTE that is) I realy hope they will have an 800 Mhz lte chip in there so we European iPhone users can get the lte goodnees (subject not coverage of coarse)

Al Gore connection? (3, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854841)

Gore is an Apple board member and a partner of Bloom Energy owner Kleiner Perkins.

Re:Al Gore connection? (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855161)

Well, at least they have an unlimited supply of gas, then.

Methane reduction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39864469)

Capturing methane from landfills keeps a potent greenhouse gas our of the atmosphere.

How long until it will run on corn-cob-mix? (0)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854855)

How long will it take, until they don't get enough waste and will turn to that "green" alternative of turning maize into gas, which is even more effective than their current plans. That's at least what the greenies in Germany do. Who cares about feeding the world, if you can be green?

Re:How long until it will run on corn-cob-mix? (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854915)

see how far feeding the world on corn gets you. most of it is indigestible cellulose, but if you let it decay on it's own, you'll get some useful stuff out of it.

Re:How long until it will run on corn-cob-mix? (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855469)

Let's see how long it takes you to realize, that the maize is specific for biogas. You basically need maize for biogas to maximize gas-yielt. But that you plant any other food (e.g. wheat) on the same fields you plant your maize for biogas (or bio ethanol for that matter).

Re:How long until it will run on corn-cob-mix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39864481)

Let's see how long it takes you to realize that plastering the planet with food crops is a short term strategy. Or that we have enough food to feed people and your bullshit is not helping the distribution issues one bit.

Re:How long until it will run on corn-cob-mix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857267)

The problem is that corn isn't just there, it needs to be planted and harvested, and that doesn't just take up space and work previously used for food – there's also a lot of rainforest cut down to produce corn. (http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=br&commodity=corn&graph=exports, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html)

Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854863)

They might be really trying to use this for some power, but its more likely just for show. I'm sure at the first sign of trouble the jump to the utility or diesel generators. I don't understand why companies are dumping so much money into new and possibly unreliable tech for a data center they want 100% up time on. They would be better off, using low power lighting and better cooling tech, and other low power solutions. Think about how much extra equipment they have to buy and maintan, On top of the industry standard of UPS, with battery/generator back up they have to buy and maintain, solar panels/batteries and crap powered fuel cells, which tend to have problems due to the dirty fuel.

Re:Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39854927)

if you want 100% uptime, surely you wouldn't want all your eggs in one basket.

what's wrong with generating not-quite-totally-reliable power, selling back to the utility, and having it as a baseload backup if grid power fails?

nothing wrong with diesel generators as backup, but something else is always good to have, especially if the fuel is coming from a source that's not being utilised at all.

Re:Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855075)

I don't understand why companies are dumping so much money into new and possibly unreliable tech

Burning biogas for power is neither new nor unreliable. I never heard of "Bloom boxes", but biogas works and is quite cheap (depending on the region, of course - it would be a bad fit for the ISS, for instance).

They would be better off, using low power lighting and better cooling tech, and other low power solutions.

Show the data that supports your words. I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but I doubt they'd purposely choose a bad solution (unless it was very shiny). And how you know they aren't using the best tech available too? They are a big company, they can do both you know.

Re:Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855421)

Burning biogas is indeed not new, but causes the need for maintenance on most generators. This is due to the fact the fuel is not cleaned before being burned. Causing the intake runners on the generators to need to be removed and descaled bi-weekly. It has also been found this by-product contained high levels of arsenic.

Re:Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (4, Interesting)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855151)

Dude -- think for a few more seconds.

1. They are almost certainly connected to the grid. Just like residential solar cells, a building can be BOTH connected to the grid AND have on-site renewable generation.

2. Apple is paying the industrial retail rate for electricity, not the cost the utility would pay. Sure, PV and biogas might not be purely economic for the utility in 2012, but they may well be for Apple because Apple's avoided cost is so much higher than the utility's.

3. North Carolina has an RPS -- a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Most states do. The utilities are required to purchase enough certificates so that X% of their retail sales have accompanying certificates, each of which represents 1 MWh of renewably-produced electricity. Apple's equipment will generate these, and Apple will sell them on the market to the utilities, generating even more revenue.

4. Low power lighting and better cooling tech are not mutually exclusive to renewable energy. You can bet that Apple is *also* employing technology which lowers their consumption of electricity for both lighting and cooling.

Apple isn't getting rich on this stuff. They're not getting rich on the vending machines in the break rooms either. It doesn't mean that they're relying on them for critical business purposes, and it doesn't mean they're taking a loss on them. In fact, it's almost certainly the contrary -- this will in no way reduce their data center reliability, and it will result in slightly lower costs than just relying on grid electricity.

Re:Yes I'm sure they are relying on this. (1)

zippo01 (688802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855443)

3. North Carolina has an RPS -- a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Most states do. The utilities are required to purchase enough certificates so that X% of their retail sales have accompanying certificates, each of which represents 1 MWh of renewably-produced electricity. Apple's equipment will generate these, and Apple will sell them on the market to the utilities, generating even more revenue. Trust me this is not a profitable venture. You are missing the point. What I am saying is apple is doing this because they can, not that they want to have to or really care about it, or will use it after it is installed.

I have gas too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854891)

I can contribute some biogas

What is the actual cost of all this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39854897)

Sure, bio-gas, solar panels, it all sounds great. But, it's not like we are growing this stuff on trees. It would be interesting to know if someone were to determine the actual cost of mining the earth -which in a way we do for fossil fuels- for the rare-earth metals for solar cells, high-power magnets, and the like. It might seem like a good idea now but how long until we have mowed down all the mountains?

Mowing down the mountains? (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855103)

We actually are mowing down the mountains in nearby West Virginia for coal. The coal extraction technique is called "mountaintop removal". Google it -- it ain't pretty. Mining the material for PV or bloom boxes doesn't have anywhere near that kind of impact, in part because the material is part of the generator, not part of the fuel.

This stuff is replacing the need for coal, and coal is what the mowing down of mountains is all about.

Re:What is the actual cost of all this? (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855415)

Sure, bio-gas, solar panels, it all sounds great. But, it's not like we are growing this stuff on trees.

Funny you should mention it, but biogas can be generated from any source of biodegradable mass... so yes it grows on trees.

North Carolina is best Carolina (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855007)

North Carolina is best Carolina

Re:North Carolina is best Carolina (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39857213)

North Carolina is best Carolina

...for extremely large values of "North."

Re:North Carolina is best Carolina (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39863545)

North Carolina is best Carolina

SC is like NK, and NC is like SK. Just sayin! Take a drive through SC and you'll see...

I don't get it. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855041)

Even if these produce twice much power as the previous generation, as the article claims, that's still probably about $4.00/Watt. If it's 60% efficient, like he claims, that's equivalent to a combined cycle plant, which typically will cost about $0.50/Watt. Why would you pay 8 times more for this? Is there any benefit?

Re:I don't get it. (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855345)

Could be to try and push the research forward. Things are expensive in the early days, funding helps make them cheaper. Could also be for appearances, a "Look how green we are," kind of thing. Appearances are valuable to advertising and so the money spent might be well worth it.

However the real answer probably lies in the post of another user: Al Gore is a partner/owner of these companies, and he sits on the board of Apple. That would be human politics as fairly normal. A board member says "Hey we should use this shit from other companies I'm affiliated with!" and it happens.

That kind of thing happens all the time.

Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855881)

Image is the very essence of every Apple product. The company has built a cult like following around itself and its products because of image. Only recently with iPhone and iPad has there been anything really revolutionary from Apple, and even now it's still mostly image.

So, when Apple spends a pittance of its massive cash reserve on new technology that may or may not pan out, but will maintain or improve its corporate image, it is a great investment.

Also, tax breaks!

Re:Image (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39856071)

Also, tax breaks!

NC has *very* nice tax breaks for 'green tech'. On top of the federal one.

Thing is NC also has very low power rates. The whole textile/mining industry moved to china/mexico years ago. So it is way overbuilt in energy generation.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | more than 2 years ago | (#39856611)

Nobody with any sense would pay 8 times more for this for no possible benefit. Natural gas has never been cheaper. NC has a surplus of energy and remarkably low energy prices already, and sensible conservation measures, such as installing high efficiency air conditioners, are already lowering consumption (and prices) further still. If Apple shareholders had any sense, they would sue the company for pissing away their money on political grandstanding. It isn't even about carbon -- I'm sitting about 15 miles away from Shearon-Harris, a nuclear plant that makes all sorts of energy without burning any carbon at all, and I'm almost certain they could tap right into its nice carbon-free electricity. It is about political correctness, bullshit, and the CAGW mythology that is contradicted by the merest passing glance at the 5 million year climate record. 5 million years ago the Earth was roughly 2 C warmer than it is today, CO_2 levels were in excess of what they are expected to go to by the end of the century in the worst case "anthropogenic" scenario, and there not only was no runaway warming associated with high climate sensitivity, the Earth's temperature was gradually depressing (for reasons no one understands) to eventually start the Pliestocene, the current Ice Age. Planetary Ice Ages historically last some 300 million years, and interglacials tend to be brief and unstable. The Holocene was roughly 1 full degree C warmer than it is today at the beginning, and has been gradually cooling ever since -- the Little Ice Age was the coldest century in the entire Holocene.

If CO_2 did stabilize the Holocene and prevent the otherwise inevitable return to glaciation, it would be the best thing for the planet that one could imagine. But it probably won't. The Earth's bond albedo has increased by 7% over the last 15 years -- no one knows why, but the direct evidence has been confirmed two ways that it has done so. The physics of an increase in bond albedo and its effect on global average temperatures is a no-brainer -- increasing bond albedo from roughly 0.30 to roughly 0.32 corresponds to an expected drop of at least 2 K in global average temperature from a simple plug-in to the greybody temperature formula associated with blackbody radiation. That is roughly three times the entire temperature increase observed over the 20th century.

Global average temperatures have been stable within noise for roughly 12 years now, and the three-month average lower troposphere temperature anomaly (compared to the 32 year running average) for the first quarter of 2012 was -- wait for it -- within a hair of 0 K. Measured temperatures are diverging strongly from the high-sensitivity predictions of basically all the GCMs as of 15 years ago, almost perfectly in step with the increase in albedo. The albedo was -- coincidentally or not -- anomalously low in the 80s and 90s. At the moment, although it is admittedly cherrypicking of a sort, global average temperatures are decreasing compared to an apparent peak associated with the 1998 ENSO. But without picking anything at all, satellite-based lower troposphere temperatures are nearly trendless over the entire timespan of their existence.

So spending $4.00 per KW-hour to "prevent a disaster" that there isn't a shred of evidence that the Earth's climate system is capable of supporting given five million years of thermometric data when we are in the unstable warm phase of a global glacial bistable cold period is simply insane. But not to the many people that profit from it, at our expense.

rgb

Re:I don't get it. (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858963)

"5 million years ago the Earth was roughly 2 C warmer than it is today, CO_2 levels were in excess of what they are expected to go to by the end of the century in the worst case "anthropogenic" scenario"

Hold on, stop.

  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm [sciencedaily.com]

"The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland," said the paper's lead author, Aradhna Tripati, a UCLA assistant professor in the department of Earth and space sciences and the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

Carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas, and geological observations that we now have for the last 20 million years lend strong support to the idea that carbon dioxide is an important agent for driving climate change throughout Earth's history," she said."

Notice, carbon dioxide levels "as high as they are today", not as high as they will soon get.

"So spending $4.00 per KW-hour to "prevent a disaster" that there isn't a shred of evidence that the Earth's climate system is capable of supporting"

That's just a lie. Past climate has been in a much hotter condition with significant changed compared to today. (If there's no Arctic ice cap and no ice in Greenland, how hot will it be in India in the summer? 130F? 140F?)

During that time humans did not exist, much less technological civilization. Next, humans are inducing change on a time-scale which is geologically unprecedented with a known potent physical change.

Putting trash to good use (1)

lw7av (1734012) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855067)

I'm surprised it has taken this long for some corporates to utilise an abundant and seemingly inexhaustive energy source. Eco points to Apple, Microsoft and others doing this.

rotton apples (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855339)

I thought rotton apples is what fueled this data center.

Translation (1)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855507)

They'll be serving baked beans in their new private restaurant. [slashdot.org]

Placement (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855521)

They will be placed right along side the Smugness generators - situated on Tax Free Lane.

Of Course They Need BigAss Generators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855571)

Of course they need Big Ass Generators, it's an Apple Data Center for crying out loud.

Only half efficient? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855657)

too bad Jobs is dead. that probably cuts the gas output by half.

The day the comedy died (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855839)

An lo it came to pass that Asian Jesus did prophecy that on the first day of May in the wide eye calendar, that in a great forum of washed up basement dwellers there would be a discussion of energy from the putrification of yesterday's meal. Asian Jesus spayke of the misbegotten wretches who, having no originality or hope of their seed being depositing in anything with thumbs, rushed to share anecdotes about the gas that comes from behind, flooding the forum with unfunny and repetitive commentary. Asian Mark, on hearing this story, said "gay", to which Asian Jesus and the other eleven disciples nodded in silent agreement.

Biogas in the server room? Check. (1)

oheso (898435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39855891)

We already got that implemented. It peaks on days when we order curry ...

Re:Biogas in the server room? Check. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39855961)

Asian Luke asked Asian Jesus, "but surely when those unfortunates see that many others have already made the joke, would they not desist?"

Asian Jesus rose angrily to his feet, causing the disciples to be startled, until he let his face slump in to the palm of his hand. "Gentle Asian Luke, thou loyal servant of God, yet thou knowest not what these compulsive onanists say or why they doth sayest such things. Wretches, such as the one named Oheso, shall not resist the urge to be the hundredth one in line to repeat the same joke, and indeed he shall chuckle heartily on sharing his wit. "

So sayeth Asian Jesus.

Great (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857169)

As if working in a data center wasn't already a shitty job, now companies looking to take advantage of biogas are going to locate them next to sewage treatment plants and landfills? Hooooo, wonderful!

Maybe next month they'll figure out how to tap power from rotting paper and hog fat and we can get data centers backed up to paper mills and rendering plants.

Thunderdome (1)

kikito (971480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857307)

A thunderdome will be installed to quickly solve technical disputes.

Or an iThunderdome, if they invent it fast enough.

Biogas not well suited for Bloom Boxes (3, Informative)

mstrcat (517519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39857347)

First of all, enjoy a good chuckle at the term 'Biogas'. Most literature refers to it as 'Landfill gas' and the majority of landfill locations think of it as a waste product to be disposed of as cheaply as possible, mostly through flaring operations. The term 'Biogas' was invented by someone that that wanted to game California's renewable energy programs.

As a fuel, it's marginal, having about 500 BTU per standard cubic foot of gas. Most sources are 10% nitrogen, 40% CO2, 45% methane and the balance oxygen, H2S, water, ethane, ect. The energy cost to clean the gas up to the point where something as high tech as a Bloom Box can use it can reach 60% of the energy of the entire gas stream, as water and CO2 removal are both energy expensive operations.

Still, with all it's disadvantages, I hope Apple is able to make the system work reliably, if only because it's a hard engineering problem they are tackling. And it will be a good proof-of-practicality for the Bloom Boxes.

Re:Biogas not well suited for Bloom Boxes (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39858287)

"Biogas" usually meant from sewage/manure processing until the landfill gas promoters appropriated the term. But putting such boxes at datacentres makes no sense: it wastes the heat they produce. After all, if there's one thing a datacentre doesn't need, it's more low-grade heat. Instead, they should put them someplace where the heat can be sold even in midsummer, and then connect to the datacentre via private wire (if the grid isn't reliable enough for them).

Running a data center off of Apple user smug. (2)

NeroTransmitter (1928480) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859371)

Couldn't be far away..

Let the fart jokes begin in 5... 4... (1)

blindseer (891256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39859859)

3...
2...
Hey! You! Stop that! I didn't say you could start yet!

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  • ecode

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<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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