Data centers consume vast quantities of electricity. When the power grid goes down, your standby generators must have the capacity your systems need to keep your facility operational. If they don’t, your clients will be left in the dark without access to the critical information that keeps their businesses operational.
Some of the largest data centers in the world can consume more than 100 megawatts of power per year. In all, it is estimated by the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, that all the data centers in the world combine somewhere between 196 to 400 terawatt-hours, a figure that represents roughly 2% of all electricity consumed globally. Acording to the United States Data Center Energy Usage Report, it is estimated that cooling and power provision systems make up around 43% of the power used in a data center. This is equally matched with the servers that also use about 43%. Storage drives account for about 11% of energy usage, and the network makes up the final 3%.
Standby generators come in all sizes ranging from 5kW to 500kW or more. Naturally, you will want to select systems that have sufficient capacity for your center. To help ensure that you are not caught short, it is best to estimate the required size based on your highest demand.
If you have a large data center, you may require 7000kW or more. If that is the case, then you will need to select modular systems that can be paralleled to generate sufficient wattage on a single bus.
Looking at past needs won’t help your business plan for tomorrow. Rather, your business needs to look toward the future to prepare for the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. Businesses are rapidly shifting toward a future where remote work is the norm. AI is expanding, 5G is spreading, and cloud computing is becoming increasingly common. All of this means that the forecasts of the past bear little relevance to the realities of tomorrow.
In addition to purchasing standby generators that can be paralleled to generate the energy you need, you may find it more economical to invest in microgrid technology. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this can cost anywhere from $2 to $4 million/MW, depending on location and the required infrastructure. However, the returns on this investment are invaluable. After all, a properly installed and maintained microgrid will help ensure your data center never runs out of the power you need to keep the servers operational. This translates to greater versatility and reliability, which is guaranteed to boost your reputation and attract new clients eager to secure reliable data center services.
Do you have questions about the best systems to keep your data center operational? Contact Central Power Systems & Services at (816) 781-8070, and we will be happy to give you the answers you need to make the best decision for your business.