[Beowulf] Electricity cost: a critical survival issue of our ICT infrastructures.
stewart at serissa.com
Tue Apr 9 05:09:41 PDT 2013
I got to thinking, "how bad could electricity costs get?"
The answer I come to is "not very bad". The potential costs are capped by the capital cost of installing your
own, say, solar generation. If I understand these things correctly, which is not likely, it now costs about $1/watt
for panels, with about a 20% active time, so $5/watt.
I am not including storage here, so you have to sell 4X your load for the 20% the sun shines, and buy 1X for the 80% it doesn't.
The net electricity costs ought to be about 0.
The green 500 is running over 2 GF/watt these days, or 500 watts/TF. So you can buy PV panels for $2500/TF.
Suppose the installed cost is 4X the panel cost. We're at $10000/TF with 0 operating costs for electricity.
Suppose that TF cost $10000 for the computer and AC (I have no idea!). Then the capital costs have doubled, but
the lifetime of the PV plant is probably 15-20 years, vs the 3 year cost of the computer.
I am sure I am way off on this, but if the figures are usable, then for a 1-2 year hit on Moore's law, you can just buy free power
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