New Approaches Backup Energy in Data Centers

01 September 2021

Undeniable, electricity is the lifeblood of every data center. The data center industry was created to ensure that mission-critical applications never go offline. The goal has typically been achieved through layers of redundant electrical infrastructure, including uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and emergency backup generators.

Looking into the carbon-free energy trend, many hyperscale operators such as Microsoft and Google tend to eliminate diesel fuel and implement new approaches to their power resiliency, like using alternative fuels, large-scale batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, geothermal, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System

Data Center Photo for Market Insight News

Photo Credit: Alexandre Viard, Unplash

Renewable Fuel – Kao Data

Renewable Fuel – Microsoft

Large Lithium-Ion Batteries – Google

Large Lithium-Ion Batteries – Switch

Hydrogen Fuel Cells – Microsoft


What about Geothermal?

Another option is geothermal energy, which appears to be in a lengthier development cycle. Geothermal power plants use steam to produce electricity. The steam comes from reservoirs of hot water found a few miles or more below the earth’s surface. The steam rotates a turbine that activates a generator, which produces electricity. But the effort is underway, as Google will soon begin using geothermal energy to power its data centers in Nevada with carbon-free energy. Google will be the first hyperscale cloud operator to tap the earth’s heat to power its servers, an approach that can provide green energy around the clock.

The Modular Gas Engine with CHP

In recent years, gas engine performance has drawn up alongside diesel, but with significantly lower emissions and ongoing operating costs. Investing in gas engine power generation creates an opportunity to run on biomethane and convert the plant to hydrogen power in the future, enabling current or future carbon-neutral operation.

Whether a data center requires a fast start for traditional standby power applications or 24/7 operation as the primary power source, Power Partners Gas Solutions with CHP systems can deliver power, heat, and cooling to the data center at its highest possible efficiencies. Furthermore, the standardized pre-engineered modular gas solutions enhance application performance by achieving the highest possible reliability through fast facilitates and a stable grid system.


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