Oct 1, 2013

Data centers of the future, no flux capacitor required


18 kilowatts (kW) is a lot of power.

According to eia.gov, the average US residential utility customer consumes just 1.3 – 1.8 kW of electricity. So 18 kW is about the same amount of power being used in 10 to 14 average US homes.

18 kW is also the equivalent of about 24 horsepower. That’s enough power to run a very nice riding lawn mower. Or keep two average American cars with air conditioners running, cruising along at 60 mph.

An 18 kW tankless water heater can deliver 105-degree water from input water at 62 degrees at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. So a never-ending supply of comfortable hot water in your shower is just 18 kW away.

This is possible because 18 kW can be used to generate about 61,400 BTUs per hour of heat. A burner on your gas stove might offer up to 12,000 BTUs per hour. A wood stove that might be used to heat a small home is probably around 55,000 BTUs per hour.

And in case none of that hit home, 1 BTU = 252 calories. So 18 kW is the calorie equivalent of 28,132 Big Macs per hour.

Got it now. 18 kW is a lot of power, right?

Aside from being able to share some “interesting” trivia, I thought 18 kW was interesting because Internap now has customers using 18 kW per cabinet in our data centers. And not just one cabinet here or there, but a cage of 30 cabinets using up to 18 kW per cabinet. And it’s not some monstrous football field-sized cage. It’s a tidy 576 square feet of space. That’s right, better than a half a megawatt in less than 600 square feet. It’s not quite 1.21 gigawatts, but some say that at 10:04pm on Saturday nights, this space can actually travel through time.

Of course, Internap customers know all about time travel. They’ve been to one of our facilities, where instead of confining your business to 2005, we have solutions for today’s users. Like the fastest, most consistent Performance IPTM service. Like a flexible AgileCLOUD and hosting solution. And now also including ultra-high power dense colocation services.

Does your organization want to get back to the future? Learn more about high data center power density in our Next-Generation Colocation white paper. Or, come see what 18 kW of power looks like in person by touring our New York metro data center.

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