Mini-Me: Is NSA Really Using 1.7M Gallons a Day in Utah?

IO Impotency
Who?  Mini-Me?
Who? Mini-Me?

Huh?

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=NSA+processing++1.7+million+gallons

Anonymous analysis below the fold.

Very interesting.  I can see the genesis was from some sort of municipal/regional/state filing.  Nothing on what they need that water for.

Usually cooling systems are closed loops.  They might have an evaporative tower of some sort (which would release the warmed water as vapor into the atmosphere, but it’s hard to imagine at that scale.

I’m not sure what assumptions you would make to evaporate 1.7M gallons per day, but it would be a massive system.  I’ll give it a try.

Google searching is telling me it takes > 8K BTUs to evaporate 1 gallon of water (not sure what the starting temperature is, which matters).

Assume they’re evaporating 1.7M gallons over the course of a day, which is 24 hours.  So, that’s 1.7M/24=70,800 gallons/hour.

At 8000 BTUs/gallon, that’s 566.4M BTUs/hour which is 165,995,454 watts.  Titan, the DoE’s biggest supercomputer, uses around 8.2MW (http://www.top500.org/lists/2014/11/).  165MW is just huge, and
presumably includes a lot of storage, not just compute.

It would be good if you know someone who can verify my extrapolation from first principals.

Even if I’m exactly right, I don’t know of any technology for supercomputers (cooling, or anything) that involves so much water USED (i.e., lost).  One article mentions trying to reclaim 1/3 or so.

I’m imagining something like a cooling tower from a nuclear plant (i.e., 1GW or so for a plant).  But the operating temperature of computers is far far lower: 150 Fahrenheit versus 350 or more for nukes.

Fundamentally, any industrial operation discarding a fraction of 165MW of power would be thinking of using that power to generate electricity, heat buildings, etc.  Perhaps that’s part of the design.

These plans by NSA raise a lot of questions, and I’m interested in analysis and commentary that this post might invite.

Phi Beta Iota: Could there be an underground city — a new “command center” for the US Government to replace the antiquated and totally compromised NORAD and Peterson AFB capabilities? Could the filing be wrong? A wonderful mystery.