Back in the day, I worked as a Network Engineer at a Medical Lab. They had not one, but two generators big as a locomotive. Bigger than the one here. And, two exhaust stacks – 12″ pipe, up the side of the building and above the roof.
In the summer, the power company would pay us to run them – 24×7.
The noise was like standing next to a locomotive at full chat.
We used to hear it as we went off the property, behind the fence, where one was allowed to smoke. I didn’t smoke myself, but it was a great opportunity to have impromptu meetings with my boss and others with whom I needed to chat.
Why did they have this?
Because when you got plopped in the emergency room, and the doc ordered a weird test “STAT”, it had to happen right then and there. They did like 10,000 tests a night, all distributed by the morning so docs could do what they had to do. Because, unlike the show ‘House’, some random doc ain’t doing a test. He’s shipping it to a lab to be done.
To put it bluntly, your hospital doesn’t have the crazy chemicals and machines on hand to do the test. BTW the part of that lab I’d avoid at all costs was virology.
You have no idea.
That said, California is full of hypocrites and data centers.
A typical data center consumes more power than a small city – and that doesn’t count the power needed to cool the place. We had a small data room at one place I worked – maybe 20×20. It had 3 tons of cooling, and that wasn’t enough.
Behind your laptop and Wifi is an astonishing amount of infrastructure that you don’t see.
Forget about the idiots with the electric cars being charged by generators (BTW – a whopping 5 MPG when you do that – you could drive a big block chebbie cheaper). This is serious power. Serious expense. Every data center, every aggregation point, needs power and AC.
Every. Damn. One.
When you drive around, look at the towers. See those recatangle antennas all in a cluster? Follow them down to the gear house. Next to each one – big ass AC, Big ass generator. All of this so you can tik-tok when the juice ain’t a-flowin’.
I had a boss once that was chirping to me, whilst on a business trip, about how his town was implementing free municipal wifi. Prior to that gig, I worked for Lucent, who supplied carrier gear. So I rattled off what it would cost for carrier grade wifi for a town square, aggregated via fiber, to a router and on to the internet. Without the recurring bandwidth charges and electric bills, I was up to a quarter million before one bit entered the interwebs. That wasn’t even a square mile.
It collapsed, of course. Sold to one of the mobile carriers. AT&T, I think.
The point here is, that along with electric distribution, there’s a whole lot going on between you typing on your laptop at Starbucks and the interwebs.
And when SHTF, those generators will be running. Hell, in CA now, with the heat, they are running now.