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Did You Know? May 2021

Warren Buffett is proposing a natural gas solution to Texas’s troubled electrical grid?

Remember back in February when Texas experienced the largest forced blackout in U.S history according to Time Magazine? Well, investment guru Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is proposing an $8.3 billion dollar fix with natural gas power generation. 10 gigawatts of gas plants with emergency gas storage would be built to come on-line almost instantaneously, unlike the current peaker and standby plants that failed and contributed to the grid collapse. This power would be made available (at a cost) to the Texas grid operator ERCOT when required. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but it certainly shows promise and makes good sense. However, in the meantime, make sure that your critical loads are battery backed or otherwise protected. Routine maintenance is key.

In 2015, a company called Nautilus launched plans for floating data centers that would be plugged into shore-side power and data but would be cooled by river or sea water?

Nautilus is planning floating data centers in California, Ireland and Singapore. Makes sense; after all, water-based real estate is cheap and cooling will be practically free. In Ireland, which is fast becoming the data center capital of Europe, an engineering study indicates that by 2027, 31% of the country’s electricity will be used by data centers. It is also predicted that between 2021 and 2025 the data center market will grow by 21% CAGR. Come on in, the water’s fine!

As mentioned in April, Battcon is “officially” Back?

After an 18-month Covid-enforced hiatus, Battcon, the premier international stationary battery conference is going live and will be held in Hollywood, FL from November 2nd -5th, 2021. The 24th annual Battcon will feature the same format as previous conferences, including paper presentations, panel discussions, workshops and trade shows. Registration is already open and full details can be found at www.battcon.com

Note. For some historical background, you may want to visit How it all Started – The “Unauthorized” History of Battcon. (From Allen Byrne’s fast-fading recollections.)

The first three-point seat belt was invented by Volvo in 1959?

But, did you also know that Volvo made the patent free to all of its competitors so that they could use it to save lives? Volvo considered it of more valuable as a life-saving device rather than a profit source.

That Formula One open wheel racing is now being joined by a Formula E category of motor racing for all-electric cars?

However, it has been going through some challenges recently. In a recent Formula E race in Valencia, Spain, it is reported that it “descended into a farce as half the field ran out of charge before the checkered flag fell.” See www.racefans.net

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 855 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems is a new NFPA Standard being developed to define the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of Stationary Energy Storage

Systems, including traditional battery systems such as those used by utility companies?

Comment for the second draft of NFPA 855 is now open and will now close on July 7, 2021. See www.nfpa.org.

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