Are MicroTurbines Gaining Traction?

A small but growing number of data center facilities are turning to gas-powered microturbines for on-site power generation with a lower emissions profile than diesel generators.

A Capstone micro turbine installed at an IBM-built data centers on the campus of Syracuse University.

A Capstone micro turbine installed at an IBM-built data centers on the campus of Syracuse University.

For most data centers, on-site power generation means backup diesel generators. But a small but growing number of facilities are turning to gas-powered microturbines with a lower emissions profile.

Capstone Turbine (CPST) today said that a Houston data center has ordered four additional C65 microturbines, bringing to 13 the total number of Capstone microturbines at the site. The unnamed facility was described as a large data center serving 50,000 employees in offices worldwide.

Last fall IBM installed 12 Capstone microturbines at its new data center at Syracuse University, which is serving as a testbed for combinng "green" technologies to achieve the highest energy efficiency.

"Data centers are a key market for Capstone," said Darren Jamison, Capstone President and Chief Executive Officer. "With energy being one of the largest single costs for data centers, energy efficient microturbines are an ideal solution. Microturbines offer eight 9's of reliability in common N + 1 configurations, all with less maintenance and lower cost of ownership than traditional battery-based UPS systems."

"The (Houston) customer knows that Capstone microturbines are extremely reliable power sources and ideal for data centers," said Jim Crouse, Capstone's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Round-the-clock clean power is essential. Because this data center's power needs are expanding, they turned to Capstone microturbines to ensure peace of mind."

Capstone says its Hybrid UPS is the first power system to integrate low-emission C65 microturbines directly with a dual-conversion UPS to provide power for mission-critical loads.

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