Saturday, December 29, 2012

Apple, Google and Pig Manure!

Apple And Google Race For Black Gold

I write about business and technology.
I thought this was a fun little piece about a putative race for “black gold” between Apple and Google. Although I will admit that there’s one part that really puzzled me. The black gold though, no, it’s not oil: rather, it’s pig….manure I suppose we’d better call it.

The argument is around the electricity for data centres. Both Apple and Google have one in North Carolina, both of them are using or thinking of using solid oxide fuel cells to at least partially power them. I think I’m right in saying that they’re using equipment from the same supplier as well: Bloom Energy. I know the Apple cell is and Google has certainly used Bloom in the past elsewhere.
The black gold that they may or may not be fighting over is the plentiful pig…manure in the state. From which you can make biogas (methane) which can be used to power those fuel cells. It’s not a no carbon method but it is a low carbon one. The fight being mooted is over whether there’s enough manure in the state to power both data centres. To which the answer is yes, no problem at all, leaving us to conclude that the “race” and “fight” is just the original journalist getting a little over excited.

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