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Power In Scotland From Tides and Whiskey 170

Posted by timothy
from the plus-the-spinning-corpse-of-william-wallace dept.
tsamsoniw writes "Singapore-based Atlantis Resources Corporation, which brings to the table tidal-turbine technology, is partnering with Scotland-based datacenter developer Internet Villages International) to construct a tidal-powered 150MW 'Blue Datacenter,' InfoWorld reports. If all goes to plan, the facility will eventually be powered entirely by clean energy produced by tidal-current turbines in the Pentland Firth, the stretch of water between the far north Scottish mainland and Orkney. The firth's currents could generate 700 megawatts of electricity by 2020." And reader Mike writes "Here's something to raise a glass to: recently the Rothes consortium of whiskey and scotch distillers announced that they have partnered with Helius Energy to install a power plant fueled entirely by whiskey by-products. The completed plant will use biomass cogeneration to convert draff and pot ale from the distillery into 7.2 MW of electricity — enough to power 9,000 homes."
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Power In Scotland From Tides and Whiskey

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  • by Bud (1705) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:20AM (#26664469)

    It seems that in some cases, whiskey can now be called an energy drink.

    --Bud

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by MindKata (957167)
      "energy drink"

      It'll be fun watching them trying to tell the Scottish they plan to burn their "energy drink"!

      For example, William Wallace: "tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our Whiskey!"
    • by HardCase (14757)

      Truly, it is the water of life!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by coleblak (863392)
      if it's from Scotland, it's whisky, not whiskey.
    • by Spatial (1235392)
      Sure, why not. Energy drinks hardly have any energy in them at all - just stimulants. Your typical energy drink has the same energy content as a normal soft drink. The only exception I've seen is Lucozade, which has far more.
      • by aliquis (678370)

        I'd say the opposite, they have lots of energy (sugar) but little stimulants (less than coffee.)

        Soft drinks also has lots of refined carbs :D

        Let's just agree on that energy drinks suck :D

    • It's the By-Products, not the whisky itself. Also of note, there is no 'e' in Scotch Whisky. The 'e' only applies to irish & american whiskeys...

      There is however and 'e' in Pee, which I'm assuming is the By-Product they are reffering too.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Gas siphoning crime wave continues in Scotland, film at 11.

  • Whisky (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:23AM (#26664479)

    Of course in Scotland we call it Whisky...

    • Re:Whisky (Score:5, Informative)

      by FTWinston (1332785) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:31AM (#26664517) Homepage
      Yeah, Whiskey is Irish, Whisky is Scottish.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky [wikipedia.org]

      They're very different drinks. Although speaking as a Scot, the only Whisk(e)y i actually like is Jack Daniels, and being american, thats Whiskey too. Meh.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Canazza (1428553)
        What about Spanish Whisk(e)y? is that an E or not?

        To be fair it probably was just coloured fermented olive oil...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by beelsebob (529313)

        and being american, thats Whiskey too
        No it's not, it's bourbon.

        • Re:Whisky (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @08:18AM (#26664775)

          No it's not, it's bourbon.

          Jack Daniels is definitely not bourbon.
          It is a Tennesee Whiskey.

          • Jack Daniels is definitely not bourbon.
            It is a Tennesee Whiskey.

            Is that like a special olympics?

        • Re:Whisky (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:51AM (#26665449)

          Actually Bourbon is a type of whiskey. It was named bourbon, because it was originally made in Bourbon county, Kentucky

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_whiskey

          Sincerely,

          Anonymous Alcoholic

      • by Ngwenya (147097)

        Although, Maker's Mark, another American product is spelled "Whisky". Something to do with the founder being Scots, IIRC.

        Jack Daniels. Pfft. A drink for schoolgirls. Talisker FTW. :-)

        --Ng

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Dupple (1016592)
          I'm not a big fan of Talisker at all, a nice 18 year old famous grouse or 12 year old Oban - lovely
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by cthulu_mt (1124113)
            Ardbeg 10 year. It'll take the enamel off your teeth.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Ngwenya (147097)

              Ardbeg 10 year. It'll take the enamel off your teeth.

              Not bad. Although the 25 year old Laphroaig is smoother than the other Islay malts I've tried (most of them - never tried Port Askaig). And now the Yanks know why British teeth are so awful - no enamel!

              If you can find Ledaig, that's nice too - made in Mull, but the good stuff is rarer than rocking horse shit (the Whisky Shop in Edinburgh's Victoria Street is where I got mine).

              --Ng

          • You should try Laugavulin... One of the tastiest scotch's imho.
        • Maker's is actually a Jim Beam brand. The spelling is probably just a marketing thing, but who knows.

          I love Whiskey/Whisky/Bourbon debates, though!

          I lot of people I know prefer American Whiskey/Bourbon (I'm American), because they're not used to the smokey/peaty taste, but I like all kinds.

          I agree about Talisker - very good. It's *really* smokey/peaty. I got to visit the Talisker Distillery last year. The tour guide lady was very interesting - we asked her what her preference was and she said that after Tal

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Dark_Gravity (872049)

            Maker's is actually a Jim Beam brand. The spelling is probably just a marketing thing, but who knows.

            It appears that is correct now, but that has only been the case since a late 2005 acquisition.

          • She also said that any Scotch aged more the 12 years is too woody

            Glenfiddich 18
            Lagavulin 16

      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        Hmmm... Highland Park Whisky, Black Bush Whiskey, and Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey.

        All good!

      • I don't have a source for this, but IIRC, Jack Daniels is the best-selling Whisk(e)y in Scotland.

        At the very least, it certainly seemed that way when I used to live out near Dundee....

        • by quanticle (843097)

          I don't have a source for this, but IIRC, Jack Daniels is the best-selling Whisk(e)y in Scotland.

          Well, sure. Just like Budweiser is the best selling beer in the 'States. Just because its the best selling doesn't mean its the best. More likely, its what people buy to drink while they save their money for the real good stuff :)

          • It's notable, not because Jack Daniels is good, but because a country widely-known for its Whisky actually favors cheap shit imported from America.

            It's not surprising that Bud is the best-selling beer in the US. It's a domestic brand, cheap, widely available, and heavily marketed.

            It would be surprising, however, if Tennents or Carling were the most popular beers in the US, given that (despite their overseas popularity) they're fairly unremarkable, and would be comparatively expensive, once import tariffs a

        • Not anymore. The latest figure indicate that it's been beaten into second place by this [mysupermarket.co.uk] tipple...
    • Re:Whisky (Score:4, Funny)

      by shawb (16347) on Friday January 30, 2009 @08:36AM (#26664877)
      That's actually not an error. Whiskey is perfectly good stuff... for turning into power to make real Whisky with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:24AM (#26664483)

    They will stop the moon, because everyone knoes that the Moon pushes the tides, and against these contraptions the moon will have to push harder, so it will lose speed and this giant Italian spy-satellite that we call the "moon" will crash into America and contaminate our base-ball parks and churches with its nefarious blasphemy. Obama has pledged to wage war against the terrorists, but "Barack" (his middle name is actually Giuseppe!) could be an agent of the sinister Italian infiltrators! Alert America! Alert!

    • by 32771 (906153)

      The moon will move outward slightly faster than it already does. As a result the total eclipses we are able to watch now will become a ring at some point. I know you were trying to be funny but I just had to ... .

    • Isn't it a bit early to be hitting the Scotch? I guess it's 5 o'clock somewhere...

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Isn't it a bit early to be hitting the Scotch? I guess it's 5 o'clock somewhere...

        11 o'clock UK time is late enough to hit the Scotch -- but only on a Friday.

        Monday-Thursday it's best to wait until lunchtime.

    • by Sloppy (14984)
      I am getting so tired of liberals mislabelling Orbit Change as "Moon Slowing" and implying that we know it's caused by man.
  • by AceJohnny (253840) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `eyatnegralj'> on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:28AM (#26664503) Journal

    That's 800W per home. That's very little. A fridge, a microwave, and you're quickly over it.

    What is, actually, the average power draw of a home in Scotland?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That's 800W per home. That's very little. A fridge, a microwave, and you're quickly over it.

      What is, actually, the average power draw of a home in Scotland?

      I was thinking that 9000 homes sounds like it should cover the whole of the Highlands.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Canazza (1428553)
        The higlands need energy for three things:
        Lighting, Milking and if they're lucky, Cooking
        that is, if they're near the national grid. If not then they'll be using Diesel generators and will only get their milking and cooking done in darkness. Unless they have a Gas stove.
      • The Highland council is reported to have a population of 217,000.

        I tend to doubt that there are 24 people per household.....

    • by borizz (1023175) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:36AM (#26664545)
      I bet 800W is the average power draw of a Scottish home. I bet it's also about the average power draw of a Dutch home. I think they also use natural gas for heating and (mostly?) for cooking, like we do. Your microwave might use 1100 Watts, but you're not running it 24/7. Your fridge only uses a lot of power when it runs its compressor. You're not running your washing machine constantly.

      The trick with these calculations is is that they're on average. Yes, during the day the plant will probably not be able to supply them all. But you should look at it this way: The plant generates x terajoules per year, and 9000 homes use x terajoules per year. In reality, sometimes the plant will only feed 1000 homes, sometimes it'll feed 18000 homes.
      • by Gordonjcp (186804)

        I think they also use natural gas for heating and (mostly?) for cooking

        Up north we use gas, although oil and solid-fuel boilers are pretty common too. Quite often houses will have a big oil tank for heating and a couple of propane bottles for cooking. Mains gas would be uneconomic, given the runs of pipes involved. An ever-growing number of modern homes use solid-fuel heating (either an oldskool Rayburn, or a modern pellet- or chip-fed boiler) in conjunction with ground-source heat pumps.

      • Yay, someone gets it! It's about energy, not power.
    • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:37AM (#26664551) Homepage Journal

      What is, actually, the average power draw of a home in Scotland?

      Not much.

      What do Scots use for heating when it's cold? A 40 watt lightbulb.

      What do they do when it's very cold? Switch it on.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bigpistol (1311191)

        Its only English that say Scots are tight - thats coz we dont give them the time of day :p

        • Funny that. My ex (who hails from Old Reekie) used to say that about people from Dundee (where her Father came from) especially around the time of her Birthday...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's 800W per home. That's very little. A fridge, a microwave, and you're quickly over it.

      What is, actually, the average power draw of a home in Scotland?

      you keep your microwave running all day?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:49AM (#26664613)

      The average Uk home uses 4700kWh of electricity per year.
      http://www.renew-reuse-recycle.com/showarticle.pl?id=311

      4700/(365*24)=0.536

      So only 536W average load

    • Winter or summer?

      Never mind, summer doesn't really happen north of Berwick.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Canazza (1428553)
        the funny thing is, Winter in Glasgow, atleast, is generally drier than summer (in which the rain is usually torrential) - no idea why that is, but it's rained about 3 times in the last month here.
      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        Well, just imagine if they found a way to generate electricity from rainfall - Scotland would become a energy exporter to, well, everyone :-)

    • by owlnation (858981)

      What is, actually, the average power draw of a home in Scotland?

      Fairly low compared to most of Northern Europe and North America. Scotland gets the Gulf stream in the winter, it's rarely below 0 degree Celsius, and it's never hot enough in Summer (that's a Tuesday in July) to warrant air conditioning. It has a very mild climate compared with most of the Northern Latitudes (though this doesn't stop Scots moaning about the weather, but most never live anywhere else to realize how tame the climate really is.

    • You leave your microwave on constantly, do you? When averaged out over a large population, 800 W is not bad. A fridge will use about 40 Watt, add another 40 for clocks, standby crap and other always-on stuff. This means that in the 8 hours you are at work, your house only uses 10% of that average value.
    • by denzacar (181829)

      About 1.6 gallons of whisky per household member?

    • by necro81 (917438)
      Look at it another way. 800 Watts times 24 hours is 19.2 kWh of energy consumption in a day. The typical home in the US uses about 30 kWh/day, my own uses less than 8 (and, yes, I have a fridge, and a microwave, and everything else you'd expect). So, 19.2 kWh/day for a Scottish home is probably not all that out of line.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    fyi- if it's made in Scotland, you spell it "whisky" (no 'e'), if it's anywhere else, it's "whiskey" (with an 'e').

    a couple of charlatans in other countries do spell it without an 'e', but we've sent our finest drunken brawlers to deal with them asap.

    • by conureman (748753)

      My mother's family is straight up Scotch-Irish from SE Kentucky, and from them I learned it as Whusky. Is that an older form or an affectation?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        No, it's because they're pissed-drunk.
      • Affectation likely caused by too much on the breath.
        I've heard it said that way at bars in Virginia.

      • I imagine that if your mothers family is half scotch, it might just be the liquidity in the gene's that prevents them putting a floating dot over the i. If they were half scottish however, they'd spell it whisky.
    • fyi- if it's made in Scotland, you spell it "whisky" (no 'e'), if it's anywhere else, it's "whiskey" (with an 'e').

      No matter how it's spelled, if it's pronounced by a true Scotsman, it'll require subtitles in the US.

  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday January 30, 2009 @07:53AM (#26664655)
    Scotland's First Minister came and gave a speech at National Geographic Headquarters a few months ago in which he announced a $15M prize for whomever could come up with a way to harness the sea's energy around Scotland. [nationalgeographic.com] I'm wondering if this will be one of the entries. Either way, Scotland seems to be located in a prime spot to be leading the charge with this type of renewable energy.
  • by Randy Savage (1465063) on Friday January 30, 2009 @08:15AM (#26664757)
    Powered by Glaswegian headbutts, and horrendous hangovers.
  • Helius Energy to install a power plant fueled entirely by whiskey by-products.

    That's an excellent idea. Raging drunks do have a lot of energy.

  • ...as I still need that to keep myself warm.

    • by Spatial (1235392)
      I remember reading that although it makes you feel warm, it actually lowers your body temperature. As a result it's dangerous to drink it for comfort if you're trapped in very cold conditions. Is that true?
  • . . . and you'll understand why they invented wool AND whiskey.

  • by 1sockchuck (826398) on Friday January 30, 2009 @08:41AM (#26664911) Homepage
    The Scottish tidal power project actually involves two huge data center projects [datacenterknowledge.com]. Atlantis is working with Morgan Stanley on a large data center [datacenterknowledge.com] near its planned tidal power generation site in the Pentland Firth. Internet Villages is planning a large data center campus near Dumfries that could eventually include 3 million SF of data center facilities. The alliance will split the responsibiltiies, with Atlantis handling power generation at its own site and a second location nearer the Dumfires project, while IVI will handles the marketing and be responsible for finding customers for both facilities.
  • This takes the phrase "getting lit" to a whole new level.

    Seriously speaking though, this is very cool. I hope lots of other companies/industries that churn out biomass take a lesson from this.
  • a power plant fueled entirely by whiskey by-products.

    How they're planning on fueling a plant with drunkards without breaking the law is beyond me...

    PS: It's a JOKE (for the humor impaired).

    • by o'reor (581921)

      Reminds me of a good one [numachi.com], to the tune of "The Greenland Whale Fisheries":

      D A7
      'Twas in nineteen hundred and sixty-five
      D A7
      And of June the thirteenth day
      D G
      That we weighed our anchors to our bow

      D A7 D
      And for Greenland bore away, brave boys,
      A7 D
      And for Greenland bore away.

      Bold Stanley was our captain's name
      And our ship the DIMOS bold,
      And we poor souls our anchors weighed
      To face the storms and cold, brave boys,
      To face the storms and cold.

      And when we arrived in tha

  • "Now, here's a fellow attempting to ride a bicycle. But he's having some trouble, isn't he? And do you know why? Because he's a Scot!!" -- Buzz Killington
  • The completed plant will use biomass cogeneration to convert draff and pot ale from the distillery into 7.2 MW of electricity â" enough to power 9,000 homes

    and how much electricity does it take to power the distillery in the first place? Sounds like they're focusing on the benefits without realising that it's not actually helpful at all, side from the fact that the distillery would be running anyway.

    • Amazing...another pessimistic slashdotter suggesting that instead of trying to find new ways to efficiently power the world, we just shut off everything that takes power.
      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        I'm just suggesting that it uses more power then it produces in the first place, thus the 9,000 homes figure isn't accurate.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885)

          except that you've forgotten the distillery will be working regardless of whether if can generate electricity from the left-overs, or if they were the equivalent of nuclear waste. This is 9000 homes worth of additional energy that we didn't have before.

  • but we have these in new york city in the east river, and one effect of tidal turbines is they increase silting because they slow the tides, possibly requiring the city to dredge at some point

    not that the pentland firth is as shallow or has as many ships as the east river, but what it does have that the east river doesn't (because we killed it) is an ecosystem. slower water speeds changes the balance of natural flora and fauna that depend upon the tides to work at a speed they have worked for eons (filtrati

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday January 30, 2009 @12:22PM (#26667351)

    New Belgium, the best large scale beer producer in North America, produced a substantial fraction of its operating electricity through methane collection (and burning) from its waste products. They have a few other nifty energy tricks, too. For instance, most of the time they don't run interior lighting because instead they have reflective light pipes bringing in sunlight from the roof through all the floors of their buildings.

    If you know their flagship beer, it also shouldn't surprise you that a lot of the employees bike to work. Thanks to being in Colorado, that's comfortable more than 300 days a year.

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