Data Center

Portable Generators Pose Challenges in Data Center Commissioning

Portable generators can be used to commission data centers, but their use does pose challenges that must be successfully met, according to Joshua Gepner, an electrical commissioning engineer at Environmental Systems Design.

Portable generators are useful when new equipment being added to an existing data center has not been integrated so it can be be isolated for purposes of commissioning. When construction and commissioning are carried out before new infrastructure is connected to an old building, these generators will particularly come in handy. However, there is some risk associated with the use of portable generators, which involve equipment logistics, scheduling, and budget.

For example, in the commissioning of one data center expansion, problems with the pair of 2 MW generators originally rented required them to be replaced with four 1 MW units. But those smaller generators did not have the equipment to properly share electrical loads or support step loads that exceeded one generator’s capacity.

Moreover, fuel levels for portable generators must be constantly monitored to ensure valid tests. If a portable generator runs out of fuel and shuts down, terminated tests can result in project delays. And if the generator is the sole source of power, running out of fuel will also cause other work in the building to come to a halt.

Go here for more information on challenges facility managers may face when using portable generators to commission new data centers.


5 Responses
  1. mickle clarck

    Great! “If a portable generator runs out of fuel and shuts down, terminated tests can result in project delays. And if the generator is the sole source of power, running out of fuel will also cause other work in the building to come to a halt”. It’s really a great news for me. Thanks for the informative and helpful post.

    Reply
  2. Alex

    I agree, a backup power supply for a data center is paramount. However, I think a permanent home/business generator is probably the best choice. These can be integrated with a management system (via app and web based login) and will engage as soon as power is lost. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Westing

    I’m curious though what is a single other option to portable generators when commissioning a data centre? I’ve never heard of any other option. I work on remote mines doing projects and we hire diesel gensets for the project works. There’s almost never mains in proximity. But yeah those 1MW units must be huge we were dealing with 50 kw machines.

    Reply
    • Facilitiesnet.com

      Thanks for your question. Our post wasn’t clear that Joshua Gepner was referring to expansions of existing data centers. The link at the end of the post will take you to the full article for more details.

      Reply

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