Data Center Power Alternatives: Gas Turbines

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Data center owners and operators are considering new power alternatives to cool equipment in their facilities, as well as gain insight through analyzing system data. A newly designed data center in Manhattan will be a co-generation facility, meaning fuel consumed by the establishment will be used for more than one purpose. This practices normally refers to using excess steam produced during electricity generation to heat other nearby buildings. Consolidated Edison heats about 100,000 buildings in New York using this process, according to InformationWeek contributor Charles Babcock. However, when it comes to DataGryd’s Manhattan facility, two gas turbines generate energy. The co-generation-inspired system will produce hot exhaust gases instead of steam, which will be used to power absorption chillers to cool equipment in the data center. A portion of the waste heat will also heat the building in the cooler seasons. Using Turbine Exhaust for Cooling Babcock said while it may seem counter intuitive to use the exhaust of a 900 degree Fahrenheit turbine system for cooling purposes, it can be done efficiently. Babcock said the turbine exhaust cooling system functions the opposite way of a refrigeration system, which compresses a refrigerant and pushes excess heat out. DataGryd CEO Peter Feldman’s data center design will use the gases to boil a refrigerant, the gases of which condense into a liquid again when their temperature drops. During the condensation process, heat is taken out of the surrounding environment, which will cool nearby locations and on-premise equipment. “No compressor or other moving parts [are] needed in DataGryd’s absorption chiller,” Babcock wrote. “The turbine exhaust gases do all the work.” An electricity generation system which doubles as a cooling structure will greatly decrease the amount of power consumed by the facility. At a typical data center, 25 percent of the total electricity is used for cooling purposes, which represents the second largest energy consumption within a facility after running equipment. Babcock stated that DataGryd’s system will guarantee 20 percent less energy consumption via reduced cooling need and other energy saving strategies.
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Cutting energy bills through high efficiency micro-CHP at no up-front cost – E2B

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Cutting energy bills through high efficiency micro-CHP at no up-front cost E2B E2B caught up with Paddy Thompson, General Manager of Business Development, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd (CFCL) at a roundtable last week, to hear about the latest… CFCL offers a small-scale fuel cell based electricity generator (BlueGEN), which allows efficient on-site production of electricity as well as some heat from natural gas. A typical customer will see carbon savings of 3-4 tonnes each year and a 20 per cent saving on fuel bills, with a potential for these savings to rise, given DECC projections that the cost of electricity will rise faster than the price of gas.CFCL claims that BlueGEN commands the highest electrical efficiency of any small scale generator, at up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency. Once heat recovery for hot water heating is factored in, the efficiency rises to a total of 85 per cent. The unit acts primarily as an electricity generator, producing only enough heat for a tank full of hot water a day, and as a result it is an add-on to an existing heat system. As well as this, it possesses the ability to export excess electricity to the grid. Part of the reason why BlueGEN is so efficient is that it avoids the electricity losses associated with grid transmission and distribution infrastructure. Due to the cost of transmission and distribution as Thompson explained, the value of electricity varies with its location, with that from a high efficiency gas power plant valued at around £45/MWh, compared with the £140/MWh seen for CHP systems such as BlueGEN. “The point about distributed generation is saying this is working at the bottom end of the network. Rather than saying that there are always economies of scale, it’s saying that in some cases there are diseconomies of scale. If you can respond to demand at the local level, then you can make the system much more efficient overall and that’s the ability we bring. The ability to respond to demand within the typical half hour periods you get on the market… we can respond to those pricing signals and modulate demand at still very high efficiency,” Thompson said. In a recent case study, a hairdressing salon which fitted a BlueGEN unit was able to reduce its use of grid supplied electricity from 3,601KWh to 273kWh and feed 585kWh back into the grid. Due to a number of complementary measures such as waste water heat recovery and a new condensing boiler, gas consumption actually fell from 1450m3 to 1,083m3, despite the fact that the BlueGEN unit was generating all of its electricity and heat from on-grid gas.
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The Syracuse Green Data Center: Driving Energy Savings & System Reliability – Data Center Knowledge

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The Syracuse Green Data Center: Driving Energy Savings & System Reliability Data Center Knowledge David Blair, P.E., senior vice president of GEM Energy, directs the design of combined heat and power (CHP/CCHP) projects using gas turbine and.. Hybrid UPS Turbine Replaces Traditional Solution Electric power purchased from the utility grid must be quality conditioned for use by the computers and must include back-up power sources to ride through any loss of the utility grid. The traditional solution is to use UPS technology to filter the utility power and to act as a switching point for storage batteries. The storage batteries provide ride-through for a utility grid loss, but must be recharged in one of two ways: by using stationary diesel-engine generators, or by the utility grid. At the Green Data Center, the traditional solution is replaced by the Microturbine CCHP system. This is possible because of innovation in multiple ways.
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