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Apple's Energy-Efficient Maiden Site May See a Second Data Center
Apple (News - Alert) has plans to build two data centers on its Maiden site, where Apple is aiming to demonstrate its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its facilities through energy-efficient, green building design. The facility has earned the coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Apple has already been working on a 500,000 square foot data center for its i-Cloud services at the site, and recently announced it was going to build the largest end-user solar array in the U.S. at the site to help feed its power demand.
The company has been under recent criticism by Greenpeace, which said its plans for providing renewable energy were not in line with the amount of power such a large facility would require. Greenpeace criticized Apple for its lack of energy transparency in its data centers, the huge severs farms that power its iCloud and other online services like iTunes. The peace-promoting organization says Apple hasn’t provided enough details about how it’s going to reach its goals.
But now, the Hickory Daily Record, a local Catawba daily news site, said new plans show Apple has more than just the one data center planned for the site. It said plans filed with the council show Apple wants to build a separate 21,030 sq ft data center at a cost of about US$1.88m that will T-bone the larger facility. Apple refers to this as a “tactical” data center, which will have 11 rooms. Mechanical permits have been lodged for 22 air conditioners, five fans, 14 humidifiers, among other things, including an eight-foot high security fence. The structure is still referred to as first phase.
Energy-efficient design elements of the Maiden facility include a chilled water storage system to improve chiller efficiency by transferring 10,400 kWh of electricity consumption from peak to off-peak hours each day, use of “free” outside air cooling through a waterside economizer operation during night and cool-weather hours, which, along with water storage, allows the chillers to be turned off more than 75 percent of the time, extreme precision in managing cooling distribution for cold air containment pods with variable-speed fans controlled to exactly match airflow to server requirements from moment to moment and power distributed at higher voltages, which increases efficiency by reducing power loss.
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Edited by Rich Steeves
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