Google shows real-time solar power statistics

Google shows real-time solar power statistics

Summary: Google has been gathering information about the power collected through their array of solar panels. Last October, Google installed hundreds of panels on the Googleplex in Mountain View.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Telcos, Google
8

solar.gifGoogle has been gathering information about the power collected through their array of solar panels. Last October, Google installed hundreds of panels on the Googleplex in Mountain View.

If you are wondering how much power is actually generated in a given day, Google provides a few examples. Based on the 644 kilowatt-hours of electricity produced today at the 'plex, you can power:

  • 402 diswasher cycles
  • 1373 hairdryers for 15 minutes
  • 536 coffee makers for an hour
  • 2683 alarm clocks for 24 hours
  • 234 loads of laundry
  • 5366 hours of flat screen TV watching

Is it me, or does 536 coffee makers for an hour seem pretty low? If you consider the Googleplex has about 250 coffee machines on campus (~20 buildings, ~2 floors each, ~2 micro kitchens per floor, ~3 coffee makers per kitchen), 2 hours of usage will suck up all the juice produced by the solar panels in a day.

I guess it's going to a good cause though -- programmers can efficiently transform caffeine into lines of code.

Topics: Telcos, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

8 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Seasonal

    Don't forget that we're approaching the winter solstice and the solar energy produced will be lowest this time of the year... I have no idea what they generate in summer, but this is the minimum production all year.
    sgtgary
  • agree it's too much

    That statement is like saying that a coffee machine sucks 1200 W. I believe this is reasonable for an industrial-type coffee machine like you find in coffee shops in Italy. But the typical home/office coffee machines like Google probably has, this sounds too much.

    As an off-topic note: if Americans love coffee so much, why is it so hard to find decent coffee shops in the US? And don't cite Starbucks please...
    patibulo
    • Because

      1. Coffee shops are fashion and not substance.

      2. If you want good coffee you brew it yourself at home.

      3. The rest is strictly for the caffeine high and not taste.

      Welcome to America!
      dragosani
  • It's not just you

    "Is it me, or does 536 coffee makers for an hour seem pretty low? If you consider the Googleplex has about 250 coffee machines on campus (~20 buildings, ~2 floors each, ~2 micro kitchens per floor, ~3 coffee makers per kitchen), 2 hours of usage will suck up all the juice produced by the solar panels in a day."

    That's the whole point about solar panels and why they're really not practical and more about being sheek among your green conscious friends. It costs about $15,000 per kilowatt generated to purchase the solar panels whereas tweaking the power distribution system in a datacenter can save 2 to 8 kilowatts per rack. Multiply that by 1000 racks and you're talking saving up to 8 megawatts of power.
    georgeou
    • True but

      Solar panels are getting a lot better.

      There is enough energy hitting the earth in 1 day from the sun to power the entire planet's energy needs for 1 year. We just do not have the technology yet to even come close to harnessing even a tiny bit of that power.

      Solar panel technology investment has only recently gained much ground. That of course has been directly related to the increased use of solar energy. If we can harness just a fraction of the solar energy hitting this planet that would still be a significant gain in usable power.

      The future of our power will come from multiple renewable sources. Tidal, thermal (earth core heat), solar, wind, ocean current, ect. Those technologies will only improve when usage gives investors reasons to invest.
      dragosani
    • Still, a big thanks to Google for the pioneering work here. Solar

      collectors get better every year, thanks to companies like Google that are investing time and money to figure it out.
      DonnieBoy
  • RE: Google shows real-time solar power statistics

    The problem is with american style "coffee on demand" machines. If you simply boil the required amount of water when needed and don't try and keep a jug of coffeee near to boiling all day long, then you will use far less energy for a caffeine supply. Of course with the tendency for Obeisity in the western world the best way to boile water for coffee is to use human powered treadmills.
    andyaaa4
  • RE: Google shows real-time solar power statistics

    Awesome, Google cares! I would love to see Google expose power consumption to the world even more - perhaps enter their power data into the OpenEco.org website so we can see if Google is reducing their carbon footprint over time. Anyhow, great stuff.
    jmanico