Enabling more growth for data centersData centers are the backbone of the ever developing digital world. They have been facing the challenge of growing electricity demand, high availability requirements together with intermittent renewable power causing lower stability of the grids and of course the ambitious carbon emission reduction targets. The solution to power availability and quality lies within the reach: flexible power generation and storage technologies with carbon emissions cut to zero.
How to decarbonize data centers?
How can data centers ensure power availability and quality while contributing to ambitious carbon emission reduction and other environmental targets? What options are available for data centers to be an integral part of their operating environment and contribute to a reliable and sustainable energy system?
Solve the Power Puzzle
Not into reading today? Solve the puzzle of the data center energy challenge in a game! Balance out cost, environmental impact, and security of energy supply in our Power Puzzle - and power up as many servers, as you can!
Transitioning beyond data
The growing number of data centres and their high energy consumption presents a conundrum for a world that has to cut carbon emissions while satisfying the need to handle increasing amounts of data. Siemens Energy argues that data centres can do more than just handle data; they can also be an important part of the move to a low carbon energy economy.
Make the most of industrial powerThe power quality in the grid deteriorates with a growing renewable infeed. At the same time, the conditions for data center operators to reliably operate their core business are becoming increasingly difficult. Growing demands on availability are causing many operators to look for new ways to supply sufficient and reliable power. With the SGT-A05, we offer you an aero-derivative gas turbine that ramps up to full load in a mere 60 seconds while offering optimal fuel flexibility and hot restart capability.
The SGT-A05 isn’t just the perfect turbine for baseload operation: Its more than 129 million operating hours speak for themselves, just like its 99.5 percent base load availability. Add to this a 100 percent demonstrated start reliability and you have a perfect base load machine and a turbine for peak power that can replace diesel gensets for an emergency power supply. In the latter case, the appropriate battery will provide sufficient power to bridge the first minute, until base load is reached.
Engines or turbines, that is the question (?)
To provide you with solid arguments for making and explaining investment decisions, we compare the relative merits of gas turbines (GT) and gas & dual fuel engines, also known as reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE).
Let's find out which technology has the smallest emissions footprint, burns next generation (cleaner) fuels, and is the best fit for your specific needs! Prepare for a rather complex answer, because the right technology choice always depends on your specific requirements and application type.
Depending on your specific needs, you can choose from six technology packages that each emphasize a different business goal. They cover every need, from the lowest possible capital expenditure to the highest availability and efficiency for both co-location medium-size data centers (up to 5,000 servers) and hyperscale data centers (more than 5,000 servers). All CO2 reduction data are derived from the 2017 EU-28 reference published by the EU.
With a typical power demand of 100 MW and 100 to 5,000 servers, colocation data centers require a reliable power supply as well as optimal power quality. Our engineers have configured three solution packages that help them achieve these and other goals.
Highest Efficiency Package
This solution package features 2+1 highly efficient gas turbines SGT-750, three generators, two HRSGs, and a steam turbine and its generator in combined cycle operation. Thanks to a vertical boiler concept, this solution requires very little space and is ideal for densely populated areas or wherever space is expensive. The solution package features fuel utilization up to 54 percent and reduces CO2 emissions by 45 percent. When comparing the capital expenditure of all three solution packages, the Highest Efficiency Package costs about 90 percent of the cost of the Highest Availability Package with its additional investment in redundancy. To support availability, the Highest Efficiency Package uses a 40-MW storage battery.
Highest Availability Package
Aimed at delivering the highest availability, this solution features 6+2 SGT-400 gas turbines and generators, six HRSGs, three steam turbines with generators, and a 15-MW battery storage system. Because of the horizontal boiler design and the large number of turbines involved, this solution requires a lot of space. It’s ideally suited for areas with weak power grids but plenty of affordable space. Its high availability and the required redundancies make this the solution with the highest CAPEX, even with its efficient fuel utilization of up to 52 percent and CO2 reduction of 43 percent.
Low CAPEX Package
With 2+1 SGT-800 gas turbines, three generators, and a 60-MW battery storage system, the Low CAPEX Package comes with a medium-size technical installation. Its simple cycle operation offers CO2 reduction of 25 percent and fuel utilization up to 40 percent, making it the ideal solution where fuel is cheaply available. Its capital expenditure is only 35 percent of that of the Highest Availability Package. The large storage battery helps serve peak load operation and supports back-up power for higher availability.
With a typical power demand of 250 MW and more than 5,000 servers, hyperscale data centers obviously need a lot of power at optimal quality and reliability. Our solution packages cover these requirements as well as other business goals.
Highest Efficiency Package
This solution package is based on a 2 x (2x1) + 1 concept, using five highly efficient SGT-800 gas turbines (4+1) and the corresponding generators. The exhaust heat is used in four vertical HRSGs to generate steam that drives another two steam turbines and their generators. Thanks to combined-cycle operation and highly efficient turbines, fuel utilization is up to 58 percent, which helps reduce CO2 emissions by 49 percent. The 60-MW battery storage systems provide uniform turbine operations and optimal power quality at all times. Despite the seven turbines and generators installed, the vertical boilers only require a medium-size space. In terms of CAPEX, this package costs 85 percent of the other two options for hyperscale data centers. So wherever fuel is expensive and space isn’t a problem, this package is a choice that’s well worth evaluating.
Highest Availability Package
This package combines the high availability of (6+1) SGT-750 gas turbines and the corresponding generators with the efficient economic and ecological properties of combined cycle operation. Six HRSGs generate steam from exhaust heat from the gas turbines to drive three steam turbines and their generators. A 40-MW battery storage system helps buffer power for peak load operation and power quality issues. Fuel utilization amounts to 54 percent, and CO2 emissions are reduced by 45 percent. The high availability and required redundancies make this the solution with the highest CAPEX (100 percent), and due to the horizontal boiler design and the large number of turbines involved, this solution needs a lot of space. As a result, this package is your first choice wherever the grids are too weak to support the growth of your business and where space isn’t a problem.
Low CAPEX Package
With 5+1 SGT-800 gas turbines and generators and a 60-MW battery storage system, the Low CAPEX Package requires only 40 percent CAPEX compared with the other two options. The solution uses a medium-size technical installation with simple cycle operation, offering CO2 reduction of 25 percent and fuel utilization up to 40 percent. So wherever fuel is cheap and readily available, this configuration has a lot to offer. Its large storage battery helps serve peak load operation and supports back-up power for higher availability.
How can gas turbine technology make your data center future proof?
More and more data – that’s the challenge for the data center industry, the factories of the twenty-first century. Captive on-site power generation can play an important role in ensuring maximum uptime and improving the operator’s competitiveness. Our gas turbine technology provides reliable, efficient, and sustainable solutions for on-site power generation.
A strong partnerWhen you’re considering installing and running an on-site power generation solution, you need a partner who knows their way around the energy business. A partner with Siemens Energy reliability and expertise acquired over more than a century in all areas of power generation and transmission.
We have committed to become climate neutral in own operations by 2030 and have launched a Climate Neutral program to achieve this ambitious target.
Our levers are:
- Using renewable electricity: 100 % of Siemens Energy’s global electricity shall be met by power from renewable sources by 2023
- Reducing energy consumptions by energy efficiency measures and electrification
- In 2020, we initiated a Carbon Reduction@Suppliers pilot project with an external service provider who developed an economic model that identifies the CO2 footprint of all suppliers.
More than a trendData centers with conventional designs use the public power grid as their main power source. As the public grids decarbonize due to an increasing integration of volatile renewable energy sources, the abundant availability of sufficient power decreases and voltage quality and frequency are increasingly compromised.
Power quality and grid stability as a bonus
Ultimately, the integration of intermittent renewable energy threatens the regular operation of data centers until balancing equipment and storage capacities are available in the public grid to absorb fluctuations and resolve the availability gap. Data center operators even have to take measures to protect their facilities from problems with the power grid, from premature aging of components in their power distribution system to the construction of appropriate energy storage facilities. At the same time, they need to decarbonize their own environmental footprint.
Compared with the public grid, on-site power generation can make a significant contribution to reducing a data center’s carbon footprint while stabilizing the power supply. If biogas or green hydrogen is used instead of fossil fuels, the power-related CO2 emissions can even be reduced to zero.