Diesel Powers HP's Bangalore Data Center

HP's new data center in Bangalore, Inida runs entirely on diesel fuel because of reliability problems with the local grid.

There were a number of articles yesterday about Hewlett-Packard's new data center in Bangalore, India, which consolidated 14 HP data centers in that country into a single 70,000 square foot facility. Most of the coverage focused on HP's use of its Dynamic Smart Cooling to achieve a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption over typical datacenter cooling methods.

Patrick Thibodeau at ComputerWorld focused on another reason the HP Bangalore data center is different: it runs entirely on diesel fuel because of the unreliability of local power supplies. HP says diesel is the "power of choice in Bangalore," but it introduces an energy cost component not seen in facilities that can use grid power. Thibodeau notes that the cost of diesel means that HP is paying upward of 26 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared with electricity costs in California that can range from 7 to 14 cents per kilowatt-hour (not to mention the 1.2 cents per kWh in central Washington).

HP's energy profile for the facility may still be more expensive than some places, but the reliance on diesel also amplifies the economic value of the savings gained inside the data center from the precision cooling. HP estimates it will save 7,500 megawatt-hours annually. With power nearly four times the cost of U.S. grid power, the savings are bigger as well.