WEATHER: rolling blackouts along the East Coast

Jeremy Porter jerry at
Wed Jul 7 05:51:28 UTC 1999

In message <199907070527.BAA05002 at>, Dan Foster writes:
>Hot Diggety! On a bright and sunny day, Gregory Urban was rumored to have said
>> Let's not forget that a/c units in data centers, NOC's, and customer
>> service call centers have been running 24x7 as the night time temperatures
>> have not dropped below 80 in many cities on the east cost for days (it's
>> over 90 in DC at 1:00am).  Units in commercial office buildings
>> have shut down, and repair times are not good.  The consequences of a
>> failure are more obvious than the solutions for those running off of
>> building a/c units and/or smaller individual a/c systems.
>Hmm. Those folks might be better served by studying data center environments
>in the South or Southwest - ie Phoenix, Dallas, etc. Those folks generally
>don't seem to be unduly alarmed by operational impact since they've planned
>for it one way or another from day one, AFAIK.

Tell me about it. You have to significantly overrate your cooling
plant to handing 3 months of continous operation a year.  
And you might be suprised when your high R value insulation traps your
waste heat, and of course its 110F outside, can't really open the windows.

UPSs are a problem too.  Batteries tend to get hot when they are discharged
to rapidly, and don't work nearly as well when the room temperature
is over 100 F.  Of course we don't really have building that don't
have central AC.  And bad things happen when the temperature compensators
go out on those 48v battery bank/regulators that are sitting in a parking
structure at 3pm when its 100F+.

I seem to recall a CO fire caused by overheated batteries from the risks

Frankly if people would just dig a big hole in the ground, bury all
the computer equipment in it, with the large thermal mass, you could
keep it at a nice 68F all year round.

Maybe its just Texas, but I can't recall ever having a power outage
due to lack of capacity in the summer.  Although I've see heating
systems fail in the winter, when it gets unusally cold and the
natural gas pipelines give up.

--- jerry at
Freeside/ Insync Internet, Inc.| 512-458-9810 |
#include <sys/machine/wit/fortune.h>

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