Posted By Industry Perspectives On October 23, 2013 @ 8:30 am In Industry Perspectives | No Comments
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 advanced technologies including the Syracuse University Green Data Center for which he provided oversight and management of the project team responsible for the development, installation and commissioning of the first hybrid UPS micro turbine tri-generation system in the world.
Our story begins with two Syracuse University graduates: Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric Spina and IBM Vice President Vijay Lund and the aging and overloaded existing data center on the Syracuse University campus. The goal: construct a new data center that would demonstrate a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption. The Syracuse University Green Data Center was born.
Such a bold plan needed very talented leadership. First, a partnership developed among Syracuse University, IBM, and NYSERDA. VIP Structures, and Towne Engineering would provide the design. GEM Energy would provide integration of CCHP systems. Capstone Turbine Corporation would supply microturbines and proved to be a key element in the Green Data Center success story. Thermax USA was selected to supply absorption chiller technology.
The Syracuse University Green Data Center is now a reality and has been in successful operation for over three years. The GDC, at 6,000 square feet includes an adjacent power plant containing the CCHP system. (Data Center Knowledge published a photo tour of the facility  here.)
The data center is powered by twelve (12) Capstone Microturbines, rated 780 kW and configured in two groups of six (6) in an A and B bus arrangement. The Microturbine engine exhaust stream is directed by insulated ductwork into two Thermax absorption chillers. These 150 ton chillers provide cooling water for the data center as a first priority and are interconnected with an adjacent classroom building. Two Cain, HRM’s, rated 4.0 MMBTU/Hr produce hot water for heating the adjacent building. Fuel efficiency exceeds the NYSERDA minimum of 60 percent annually.
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.
An IBM innovation, the rear door and side-car heat exchangers cool the air exiting from conventional computer racks using water. The result is quiet and efficient. The CCHP system is the source of chilled water for cooling. Thermal pictures, with doors open and closed, illustrate the magnitude of this cooling improvement.
In a traditional data center, only 50 percent of the electric power delivered is used by the computers and Power Utilization Effectiveness, or PUE = 2.0. The CCHP system at the Green Data Center is the game changer. First, absorption cooling technology substitutes for electric cooling with a reduction of 27 percent. Second, water replaces air cooling with a reduction of infrastructure that is dramatic. At the Green Data Center, a PUE = 1.28 is the result for three years.
The power plant consisting of 12 Capstone Hybrid UPS MicroTurbines is environmentally friendly. Compared with traditional grid power generation, a significant reduction in carbon footprint is possible. We breathe easier because of reductions in carbon dioxide by 61 percent and nitrous oxide by 98 percent.
Encouraged to explore new ideas, the project team was reminded that the ribbon cutting date would follow in only six months after breaking ground! Some features of the data center included:
The Green Data Center is a success. The traditional methods and tried-and-true solutions are certainly safe and will not rock the boat. But, remember that we did not get to the moon riding a hot air balloon.
If you are considering a new data center or planning a retrofit to an existing data center, then look to Syracuse University. Visit the campus, speak with the owners, and take time to kick the tires. In this way, you will quickly learn more about the CCHP advantage that includes innovations in energy reduction and reliability improvement.
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URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2013/10/23/the-syracuse-green-data-center-driving-energy-savings-system-reliability/
URLs in this post:
 GEM Energy: http://www.gemenergy.info/
 photo tour of the facility: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/12/08/inside-ibms-green-data-center-testbed/
 Image: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/project-vitals.png
 Image: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/su-schematic.png
 Image: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/su-hybrid-ups.png
 Image: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/ibm-watercooledrack.png
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