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Did You Know? October 2021

With all this talk about Electric Vehicles in recent years, did you know that the electric motor has actually just turned 200 years old? In 1821, Michael Faraday, using suspended wires in pools of mercury and magnets, applied electric current to create motion. Although he proved a concept, it was not exactly useful. It took another few decades for the principal to be refined enough to drive the industrial revolution.

Source IEEE Spectrum magazine. September 2021.

As annoying as it is to have all the different charger ports on mobile devices, did you know this may be about to change? Even though Apple has their custom “lightning” connector and most Android phones have a USB micro B port, under a new rule being developed by the European Commission, manufacturers could be forced to come up with a universal charging configuration for mobile devices bases on the USB-C chargers. They say that the driving factor is to make it possible to reuse chargers thus reducing waste. Nothing about user convenience though! I guess the “green” driver works better.

Source BBC.com

Did you know that the Uptime Institute has just released its eleventh annual Global Data Center Survey? Andy Lawrence, the Institute’s Executive Director of Research, commented that “The stakes have never been higher when it comes to outage prevention, environmental sustainability and overall performance. That’s why organizations must continue to carefully reassess their mission-critical digital infrastructure and operations to minimize service delivery risk and maximize resiliency.” The report states that “on-site power remains the most common cause of outages, and most downtime incidents are likely preventable.” It is this author’s opinion that many of these power issues are self-inflicted because of badly configured power backup systems, wrongly charged batteries squeezed into tight spaces, and overall lack of maintenance.

For more information, see: www.intelligentdatacentres.com

Did you know that a recent Wall Street Journal editorial piece reported that energy prices are soaring? Unfortunately, most of the blame can be placed on reducing carbon emission policies, which supports my thoughts on “greenwashing”, where agenda pushed by the alternative energy lobby may seem attractive but result in considerable cost. For example, in Europe, electricity prices are at an all-time high, and other world regions are following closely behind, because heavily government subsidized renewables are just not meeting demand. I guess that when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine, we’re in a boat without a paddle. Talking about boats, one promising source of alternative energy is tidal power. As long as there is a moon, we have tides. It doesn’t even have to shine through. In the meantime, plan for power brownouts and blackouts. So, don’t forget those batteries – whether you require AA’s or several Ampere hours.

Energy storage is all the rage, but did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts that energy storage systems will triple in growth by 2030 to 160 GWhs? It was of interest that this author stumbled across an article that he had written for Electrical Construction and Maintenance (EC&M) magazine 20 years ago. It was essentially a report on Battcon Five that contained the following regarding the keynote speaker, Dr. Imre Gyuk, the then program manager for Energy Storage Research with the U.S. DOE. Dr. Gyuk stated that although energy storage is not the answer to all of the current problems, it would become “a necessary and powerful tool in mitigating the overburdened electricity delivery system(s).” He went on to say that the digital infrastructure not only requires continuous energy, but a supply of high-quality power without the aberrations normally found on an electrical grid. This ideal power supply would perform 99.999% better. He also stated that “an outage of a few cycles may take four hours to clean up. While the price of power is determined by the economy of power production, the cost of a power outage is determined by the value of the product. As a result, the power quality is becoming as important as power quantity, and the cost of ‘no power’ is almost priceless in the digital economy.”

Fast forward 20 years and the above is somewhat prophetic. Need one mention the great Northeast outage of 2003 and the recent fiasco in Texas this past February?

To read the full article google: “Battcon 2001 and the state of the industry EC&M.”

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