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    Monday
    Apr262010

    Iceland Data Center Power, Fiber, and Natural Disasters, Perception vs. Reality

    The folks at Iceland's economic development group provided PDF documents describing the Power and Fiber infrastructure and natural disasters.

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    As requested I am sending you a map showing the location of the substations and transmission lines of Landsnet, the Transmission System Operator of Iceland.  As may be seen from the map, the 132 kV and 220 kV part of the transmission system is built as an interconnected, N-1 system, i.e. it is built and designed in such a way that a single failure of one component should not have an effect on the delivery of power to our customers. 

    Also the map shows the location of the current volcanic activity in Eyjafjallajökull and a shaded grey area where ash fall has resulted from the volcanic eruption.  The ash that is falling is composed of both fine and course particles.  The wind direction and other meteorological conditions have an impact on where the ash falls to earth. 

    The Natural Disaster Risk is top in the news and is in this pdf.

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    The Power Infrastructure is mapped here.

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    The Fiber Infrastructure is here.

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    Here is a press release as well translated to English.

    LANDSNET’S REACTIONS TO THE EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL ERUPTION

    Ever since the volcanic eruption started at Fimmvörðuháls, followed by the larger eruption in the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, Landsnet has been on alert to manage any unexpected events in Iceland’s electricity transmission system. No disturbances due to falling ash have occurred.
    We are keeping a close watch on developments and our team remains on alert in case any action is needed. Our Operation & Maintenance department is preparing condition checking on the South Transmission Line to examine the effects of the ash-fall.
    Representatives of the Electricity Sector Emergency Partnership (ESEP) are working at the National Emergency Coordination Centre at Skógarhlíð in Reykjavík to provide information to stakeholders as developments unfold and warrant. This role is carried out by standby personnel of Landsnet’s System Operations division. In addition, the Coordination Centre monitors the telecommunications network. These parties also supply updates on the electricity system’s status to the Civil Protection Department.
    Regular consultation meetings on the situation are held with representatives of ESEP and the telecommunications system. ESEP representatives are co-operating closely and exchanging information on the eruption and its effects.
    The Eyjafjallajökull eruption appears to have changed from an explosive eruption to an effusive eruption. Steam explosions have decreased and the ash plume is not reaching such high altitudes as previously. This indicates that water is no longer reaching the crater and that an effusive lava flow has begun. Splashes of lava are streaming out of the crater and the eruption plume is now mostly white. According to the Icelandic Met Office, the probability of ash-fall in the Greater Reykjavík Area is minimal. The wind direction is forecast to turn easterly on Thursday, but rain is forecast, which reduces the likelihood of ash-fall substantially.
    The eruption has caused no disruptions to electricity transmission or distribution, nor has it caused damage to electricity infrastructure in the affected region. There have been no disruptions to telecommunications. Water supply to the Westman Islands is being closely monitored, as the islands’ water source is located in the volcano’s vicinity. A power line from Iceland State Electricity (RARIK) along the Eyjafjöll mountains tripped over the weekend, but this was confirmed to have been due to birds flying into the line. Back-up diesel generators are being operated at the town of Vík as a result.
    The fine-grained ash gets into all electricity infrastructure in the area and is deposited on outdoor electrical installations. However, this has not caused any disturbances. According to information from RARIK, all the indications are that the ash does not have high conductivity, as neither dry nor wet ash has caused any interruptions. The ash will be largely washed off installations and equipment by rain. Confirmation regarding the ash’s conductivity is being sought from the Science Institute of the University of Iceland.
    Regular updates on the eruption are provided on the website of the Icelandic Civil Protection Department: www.almannavarnir.is

    I don't disagree with any of these being facts, but Perception vs. Reality is something few understand.

    Truth vs. Fact
    In his book Story, the legendary screenwriter Robert McKee wrote, “What happens is fact, not truth.  Truth is what we think about what happens.”  Facts are reality (Smaller cars are safer than SUVs).  Truth is perception (Bigger is safer).  Facts are the way things are (It doesn’t matter what golf ball you hit; it’s still going to end up in the woods).  Truth is the way your brain view things; your thoughts, opinions, evaluations, feelings and conclusions (You’re a winner . . . like Tiger.  So you need a ball with a swoosh on it).  You believe that your truths are the facts. We all do.

    This is a difficult concept to grasp.  Not because it’s intellectually challenging; it’s not. Rather, because it’s difficult to feel.  For example, do you feel that you are the outgrowth of a spinning sphere that is rocketing through space at more than twenty times the speed of a bullet?  Probably not, but those are the facts.  So what does this have to do with marketplace success? Everything!  Because the cold, harsh reality is that your audience judges you based upon the very little bit of you that they hastily perceive.  They speed read you, and prejudge you with their resultant feelings.

    I see this Perception vs. Reality (Truth vs. Fact) mistake being made repeatedly in data center discussions.  The data center experts think one thing, the pubilc thinks another.  Data Center experts say they are right.  Public doesn't care.  Look at the Facebook page run by Greenpeace.  It is now up to 400,000 people for English,  Spanish and French versions.

    Take action: Join a group in your language!
    English Group: We want facebook to use 100% renewable energy

    Spanish Group: Queremos que Facebook utilice 100% energía renovable

    French Group: Nous demandons 100% d'énergie renouvelable pour Facebook

    Join the group to get facebook.com onto 100 percent renewable energy

    More than 400,000 facebook members in 8 weeks!

    Facebook announced in February that it will build a massive data centre in Oregon, U.S., packed full of the latest energy efficient computers to serve the hundreds of millions of friends connecting on their near-addictive social networking website. But the company plans to run the place on electricity made by burning coal--Yes, the dirtiest source of energy and largest single source of global warming pollution in the world.
    Read more...

    Facebook has tried to tell the truth on their energy efficiency.

    At the same time, it is simply untrue to say that we chose coal as a source of power. The suggestions of “choosing coal” ignores the fact that there is no such thing as a coal-powered data center. Similarly, there is no such thing as a hydroelectric-powered data center. Every data center plugs into the grid offered by their utility or power provider. The electrons powering that data center are produced by the various sources (e.g. hydro, natural gas, coal, geothermal, nuclear, etc.) the provider uses in proportions similar to the mix of sources used. That is, if 25% of the providers energy comes from natural gas, it’s a good guess that 25% of the electrons powering the facility come from that source. Even when a facility is in close proximity to an individual source of energy, such a dam or coal plant, there is no guarantee that the electrons from that source are flowing to the facility at any particular time.

    I know of one power site that runs as a microgrid with 100% biomass renewable energy  at 10 - 20 megawatts currently being evaluated as a data center site.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Apr262010

    Compliance and Sustainability Solution - IHS Environment

    I am at OSIsoft's user conference and found one compliance solution from IHS for the Environment.

    Environmental Solutions

    IHS provides a full suite of environmental and chemical management software and service solutions for EHS and sustainability management.  Solutions include:

    Effective environmental, sustainability and chemical management is no longer simply about regulatory compliance. Increasingly these concerns are central components to companies’ strategic planning and management.


    IHS Environment solutions help you manage your Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and sustainability programs -- from the corporate level down to individual facilities.


    By offering a complete portfolio of solutions, from EHS and chemical management software to strategic consulting services for climate change management in a cap and trade environment, IHS is your single source for cost-effective environmental management.

    The IHS Environment makes sense to evaluate if you run industrial processes and use other IHS software.

    I've also met some other sustainability folks at OSIsoft and I will discuss how well the IHS Environment solution can work for a green (low carbon) data center.

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Apr232010

    Does having the Rights mean it is Right?

    Part of the difficulty of changing people's behavior to be green, taking more sustainable actions is they have the Rights to do what they are doing.  It is not illegal.  For the US, The Bill of Rights is a foundation of American thinking.

    The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation.

    There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that says you cannot be an energy hog, wasting the Earth's resources, polluting the water for downstream users.

    The Clean Water Act may be one of the most influential laws changing your Rights, making it illegal to pollute the waters.

    The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.

    Newsweek had an article explaining what is saving the planet is not our individual actions, but regulation and legislation.  The article starts poking fun that people are shopping to show they are green.

    On the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Let’s ... Go Shopping!

    Buying green and changing personal behavior won't save the planet.

    PHOTOS
    Progress Check

    On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, NEWSWEEK looks at how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go, in protecting the planet.

    By Sharon Begley | Newsweek Web Exclusive

    Apr 21, 2010

    With apologies to a cliché that predates the advent of Earth Day by a year, it is easy being green. Too easy. From adorable reusable shopping bags and organic clothing to hemp shower curtains (no nasty petroleum-based vinyl liner!) and "natural is now fun!" beauty products for girls, the proliferation of green products makes doing our bit for the planet a blast, since Americans can combine environmentalism with their favorite sport, shopping. Indeed, a Gallup poll released this month finds that large majorities of Americans are shopping for the good of the planet: 76 percent said they'd bought a product specifically because they thought it was better for the environment.

    Then makes the point the biggest environmental change is not from individuals, but groups.

    As my colleague Ian Yarett documents in his progress report on the environment, every example of major environmental progress—reducing acid rain, improving air quality, restoring the ozone layer—has been the result of national legislation or a global treaty. We reduced acid rain by restricting industry's sulfur emissions, not by all going out and sprinkling bicarb on sensitive forests and lakes. Leaded gasoline was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1996, not by everyone choosing to buy cars that run on unleaded. Ozone-chomping CFCs were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol, not by everyone deciding to forgo spray cans and air conditioning.

    The gases had to be banned, people. All environmental progress has come through national- and international-level regulation—to be blunt, by forcing people and industry to stop doing environmentally bad things and start doing environmentally good things, not by relying on individuals' green good will or even the power of the marketplace.

    What would happen if environmental law was part of the Bill of Rights?  The Earth has rights that are equal or greater than individual rights.  Right now the Earth does not get paid for use of its resources.

    Is it Right, if you have the Rights?

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    Directory of USA Fiber Network Providers

    Power generation and Fiber are top issues is data center site selection. Curious I found this site as a useful Directory of Network Maps based on the providers.  The list is over 30 providers, so there is still manual work to go through all of them, but at least this is a starting point.  Here are the first 11.

    Company
    Network Map

    360Networks
    Interactive Map

    Abovenet
    Network Maps

    AT&T
    Domestic OC-768, See International Maps

    BT Global Services
    Network Map

    CenturyTel
    Network Map

    China Telecom
    Network Map

    Cogent Communications
    See International Maps

    Covad
    Network Map

    Cox Business
    Interactive Map

    Darkstrand
    Interactive Map

    Global Crossing
    See International Maps

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr222010

    What am I doing on Earth Day? Working on a solution that will change the data center industry

    Earth Day in many ways is a market event.  A day to celebrate the successes over 40 years.  Politicians, environmentalist, vendors all have the chance to use today to market and promote how effective they are.

    What am i doing today?  I have set up a 1/2 day meeting between 4 companies to discuss a solution that will change the data center industry, allowing people to see the impact of their actions more clearly.  Answering the difficult question "what is sustainable?"

    An overly enthusiastic focus on efficiency has created food production that has bad environmental impacts and bad tasting food.  Over the last 30 days my most popular blog post is the one I wrote on Sustainable Farming.

    Mar 26, 2010

    Sustainable Farming Method applied to Sustainable Data Centers, Dan Barber's entertaining how I fell in love with a fish, it's about relationships

    This is a video that has 5 stars. It is entertaining, funny and educational.

    Here is Huffington post article about the video.

    Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love With a Fish

    Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

    The group I am meeting with today gets what Dan Barber presents.  It's not about energy efficiency which is a top data center method, it's about what is sustainable.

    I'll be able to write more about what we are doing in the future, but it is time to go to the meeting and I need to catch the bus to downtown Seattle.

    Click to read more ...