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back to article Olympics TV HQ future: Catwalk beauties elbowed out by IT bods

The building that piped footage of Usain Bolt's double gold to the world will be turned into a data centre with a 55MW power capacity. Data centre operator Infinity and real estate biz Delancey together won the bid to transform the Olympic Park's broadcast headquarters into a meaty server warehouse. The pair of companies reckon …

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Anonymous Coward

This seems like...

... a good thing.

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Use of waste heat?

55MW (or whatever) of electrical power going into the centre will mean that 55MW of heat will have to be extracted from it. Will this be dumped into the air (or nearby river) or have they considered selling waste heat for use in neighbouring buildings and homes?

What are the economics and technical challenges of doing this? Is it cheaper to just dump it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use of waste heat?

I would think that they would have to include CHP into the bit do be successful. You can't dump that sort of heat into a river - it will seriously knacker up the ecology - and wasting that much energy by dumping it into the air just wouldn't fly with the LOCOG sustainability people.

I would also take issue with the 55MW in / 55MW out as there will be a bit of work done with the power!

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Boffin

Re: Use of waste heat?

"I would also take issue with the 55MW in / 55MW out as there will be a bit of work done with the power!"

As far as I know for all practical purposes 100% of the electricity used by a computer (or anything else electronic) ends up as local heat. The 'work being done' in this case is the shuffling of bits, and once they're shuffled they have the same energy content as before. Possibly if the site was writing vast quantities of flash memory and then physically shipping it out, then some of the 55MW would leave as electrical charge in the memory, and not as heat.

The upshot is that if your house is electrically heated with no Economy 7 meter (like mine, unfortunately) you could in theory replace your heaters with an appropiate number of computers (drawing the same total power) and have your 'heating system' mine Bitcoins, or run Folding@Home or whatever, and get more value out of the electricity you would have used anyway for heating.

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Re: Use of waste heat?

You're forgetting a few other forms of energy... Kinetic, Sound, Light etc...

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Re: Use of waste heat?

"You're forgetting a few other forms of energy... Kinetic, Sound, Light etc..."

....which all end up as heat.

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FAIL

Re: Use of waste heat?

"I would also take issue with the 55MW in / 55MW out as there will be a bit of work done with the power!"

And how do you think that this power gets "expressed" - sorry, translating for an English Lit grad

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Headmaster

Thermodynamics FTW.

Yeah, unless you CREATE MATTER FROM PURE ENERGY via FUTURISTIC, ALTERNATE REALITY LONDON technology (possibly linked to EXTREME ELECTRO-STEAMPUNK) in the LOWEST BASEMENT with CACKLING FUZZY-HAIRED PROFS from QinetiQ looking at ominously glowing screens in the SEALED and G4S-PATROLLED control centre, all of your JOULE (aka WATT x SECOND) pumped in are DOWNCONVERTED into DISORDERED KINETIC ENERGY, i.e. HEAT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use of waste heat?

Hey, that's not a bad idea: Get economy 7(/10) laid on at home and build a quiet server farm to mine bit coins whilst warming up heat storage medium. I wonder how the economics of the trade off between GPU ops, power draw and initial outlay works out.

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Re: Thermodynamics FTW.

How you disapoint me.

"... all your JOULE are belong to HEAT".

What passes for engineering education these days...

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Re: Use of waste heat?

Getting away from secondary school physics/thermodynamics for the moment; I'd really like to know, from someone who has experience in this area.

If I was consuming 55MW of electricity and producing 55MW of waste heat, situated in a built-up area with neighbouring commercial/industrial buildings, I'd be looking for ways to sell it to my neighbours as a baseload heating supply.

With large power consuming data centres being built around the world, I'd have thought that this consideration would be uppermost in the minds of the owners/operators/designers; if not for 'save the planet' reasons then for simple running cost reasons.

Is it a good/workable idea or am I being idealistic?

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Silver badge

Re: Use of waste heat?

Yes, this is being done. Look for "data center waste heat reclamation", e.g.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/20/helsinki-data-centre-heat-homes

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/green-it/energy-efficiency/intel-it-data-center-heat-recovery-helps-create-green-facility-brief.html

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Re: Thermodynamics FTW.

Capslock stuck intermittently?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thermodynamics FTW.

Disordered kinetic energy, i.e. heat, can be lined up and harvested by the multiphase thermoelectric converter with efficiencies virtually closer to 99%. http://youtu.be/ro5-QYqqxzM

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"...expected to lure startups, multinationals and TV and video companies."

Or governments with a communications capabilities development programme to implement?

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Anonymous Coward

An issue...

Without wanting to be a nay-sayer, although that's how I'm going to come across... I've worked with big, empty datacentres before, unless they can fill the building very quickly, they're going to be dealing with a lot of abandoned space, which will need maintenance just to do nothing. This can be remarkably more expensive than you'd think and will also skew the prices charged to the first occupants of the building.

I would usually look to have a datacentre with an initial hall or two, then build more as required.

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Mushroom

Sustainability

Most importantly, can they do a deal to keep the world largest McDonalds right in front of the building

6,600 people are going to need looking after

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Re: Sustainability

... and never forget that the '6,600 people' will actually be data center nerds, not the beautiful people depicted in the artist impression.

A giant Maccy Dee's could never be more appropriately located.

i.s.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sustainability

No need it has its own McDonalds opposite its back doors.

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Anonymous Coward

BT had the exclusive contract to supply connectivity to the Olympics, does that mean that the only connectivity on site is BT? Be afraid...

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Big Brother

How is that going to create 6'600 jobs? Why not -112?

I'm sure they did not take into account negative jobs created via govnmt splurge on the Olympics boondoggle.

I'm so tired of the "we are job creation" B.S.

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Holmes

This!

For sure somebody is pulling random numbers out of their nethermost region. Stuff certainly not accounted for: IT people at random companies being let go, datacenter consultancies hiring, money meant for capital construction being hoovered by taxes and dumped into this infrastructure instead (which may or may not be actually used)

It's like babby running Conway's game-of-life, randomly flipping a few cells in a corner then declaring that in a few minutes 6'600 additional cells will be "on" than if he hadn't done anything. Sweet make-believe to win brownie points with the masses.

"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." [Freddy Hayek]

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Thumb Up

Good use

This has major infrastructure, good use of the investment in the long term.

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Anonymous Coward

BT may have had the contract for the WAN links, but Cable & Wireless (now Voda) were responsible for the on site links between the IBC International Broadcast Centre, venues and links to the outside world..

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Mushroom

"iCity"?

Expect a letter from a lawyer in Cupertino any day now folks.

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Thought green-minded data-centers in northern countries only need an extra 1% power for cooling these days? i.e. would only need about 290KW of cooling for 29MW of compute (Yahoo Chicken-coop claimed this percentage with a datacenter they did a couple of years ago in NY IIRC)

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