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.