Zero Pollution From Back-Up Power

July 29, 2021

Although it has been well reported that the use of diesel gensets for back-up power has a negligible environmental effect, there is still a concerted drive to seek more sustainable alternatives. While the diesel backup gensets may have a limited environmental impact, using them for extended periods of time to power sites to feed energy back into the grid is not a sustainable solution to growing electricity demand. Until datacentre operators transition their backup generators from diesel to cleaner alternatives, they should not be used to power datacentres for extended periods of time or feed energy back into the grid. This talk looks at the role of diesel gensets and alternative options being developed and deployed.

Sessions from this talk

As demands for green digital transformation continue to gather pace across Europe, the need to design and build sustainable digital infrastructure, while delivering mission-critical-reliability is a key challenge for today’s operators. Often when increasing redundancy, data centres become less efficient. Yet with the evolution in today’s power protection technologies, and the sophisticated energy management and automation techniques available at the touch of a button, operators need no longer sacrifice performance for efficiency. This presentation will discuss the fundamental considerations for decision makers looking to achieve 99.9% uptime with 99% efficiency in the data centres of the future.
Alex Rabbetts and Damien Wells discuss why, given the 20-year lifecycle of today’s data centres, there is no time for interim steps in migrating away from the use of diesel to fuel secondary and standby power requirements. For the industry to meet the commitments of the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact (CNDCP) and achieve the goal of carbon neutral data centres by 2030, owners and operators must start acting now for an assured, self-regulated and sustainable future with zero pollution. One potential solution, Alex says, is the use of hydrogen fuel as a clean, primary power source for data centres, using the grid to provide back-up power. Although a useful by-product of wind generation, Europe currently has under 1 GW/year of electrolyzer capacity for renewable hydrogen installed, with around another 1.5-2.3 GW of planned projects. The European Commission has an EU target of at least 6 GW by 2024. However, is the data centre industry too conservative and risk adverse to overcome the barriers to adoption? Will it require EU legislation and hard deadlines to eliminate the use of diesel from data centre operations?
There is currently no commercial solution available for zero pollution for data center back-up power, but there has been a lot of discussion around how hydrogen can solve this issue. If we ignore for a moment the current limited availability of hydrogen, there might be a zero-pollution solution available now. Most natural gas engines can run on a blend of natural gas and hydrogen and the INNIO Jenbacher 1MW reciprocating gas engine can even run on 100 per cent hydrogen already which results in zero CO2 emissions. Learn how it is already possible to implement a hydrogen generator as back-up power solution.
Short service life of blocks in UPS Batteries is a fact. More than 90 per cent of all blocks are replaced after less than 55 per cent of their design lifetime. Real figures are very hard to get since many UPS users don’t know what average block service life they have, and others don’t want to share how badly they are managing them. The data centre industry must do what it can to further reduce its use of natural resources and improve keeping assets in their highest utility for as long as possible. Manual checks once or twice per year or a good looking monitoring system, but adding failure on blocks, will sadly give the service life much shorter time than the design lifetime. This presentation will give you two simple safety requirements and one recommendation on monitoring systems, enabling your blocks to last very close to a design lifetime of 10 years.

Speakers in this Session


Join us on the journey to a sustainable future!

Join thousands of other industry professionals, receive our weekly newsletter filled with the latest content, innovations and updates on our talks. Don’t miss out, sign up now!

Check out more talk sessions