SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(Vantage Data Centers did at their new data center campus in Santa Clara, California, using novel energy-saving techniques and emergency standby generator sets from Tognum brand MTU Onsite Energy. For Vantage’s 73,000-square-foot expansion facility called V2, the company specified six MTU Onsite Energy generator sets that provide a total of 18 MW of standby power for the facility’s 9 MW load.)--Large data centers can be big power users due to racks and racks of computer servers and the critical air conditioning and ventilation equipment required for cooling. However, when a data center can improve its overall energy efficiency, it not only reduces operating costs but also the requirements for its emergency standby power system, which can in turn make it affordable to size the system for full 2N redundancy (twice the number of generators for a given load). That’s what
“The greater displacement supplies more reserve torque and is one of the reasons the MTU Onsite Energy generators can absorb full load in one step and recover quickly”
Energy efficiency is central to Vantage Data Centers’ business model. According to Greg Ness, chief marketing officer, Vantage Data Centers, the company “develops highly efficient and customizable data centers that significantly reduce IT infrastructure, cooling costs and carbon emissions so customers can substantially reduce their total cost of operations.” While the company’s customers include leading players in social networking, social commerce, online social gaming, cloud storage and video game development, the V2 facility has been leased to a single tenant.
Unique cooling system saves energy
The heart of Vantage’s energy-saving design is the facility’s cooling system. According to Ness, the V2 facility incorporates an energy-efficient “penthouse” cooling design that uses filtered outside air flowing down on the racks of servers. Lowering the static pressure inside the building reduces the velocity of the cooling air, significantly cutting year-round power consumption.
One of the measures of data center efficiency is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). PUE is defined as the total facility power consumption divided by the total IT equipment power consumption. A PUE of 1.0 would mean that all of the facility’s power would be consumed by the IT equipment with no power used for cooling, chillers, pumps or fans — an ideal but unobtainable goal. Vantage’s V2 facility has a PUE of 1.12, putting it in the forefront of data centers. According to the Uptime Institute (a third-party organization focused on improving data center performance and efficiency), typical data centers have average PUEs above 1.9, and some even have a rating as high as PUE 3.0 — meaning that two-thirds of a facility’s power consumption would be used for cooling and only one-third for the IT equipment. In addition, finding operational efficiencies has significant implications for sizing of the emergency standby power system: The lower the overall energy needs are, the more redundancy a data center can afford to build into its emergency standby power system. The result is much higher redundancy and reliability for no more investment — a critical factor for data centers that need to maintain near-100 percent uptime.
Vantage selected emergency standby generator sets from MTU Onsite Energy for the V2 data center based on performance, according to Steve Homan of Valley Power Systems, the local MTU Onsite Energy distributor that supplied the generator sets. “MTU Onsite Energy generator sets were selected based on superior load acceptance and transient performance — the ability of these generator sets to be hit with full load and then quickly recover voltage and frequency,” said Homan. “One of the reasons for this performance advantage was that we found that the open protocol design of our generator control systems worked well with the paralleling switchgear that Vantage had selected.”
Standby generators feature high-displacement engines
The six 3,000 kW generator sets are located outdoors in individual weather-tight enclosures with sound attenuation. Each generator set features an MTU 20V 4000 generator-drive engine with approximately 20 percent more cylinder displacement than other engines of similar horsepower. “The greater displacement supplies more reserve torque and is one of the reasons the MTU Onsite Energy generators can absorb full load in one step and recover quickly,” said Homan. “The greater displacement also reduces fuel consumption and reduces stress on the engine’s internal parts, improving reliability and longevity.” Each generator set is also equipped with dual starter motors and dual best batteries for additional starting reliability.
The complete story and four high-resolution photos are available for download from www.cccinc.com/pr/mtuonsite/vantage.