In a unique collaborative effort in Atlanta, DataBank, a leading provider of enterprise-class data center, connectivity and managed services, is using a “microgrid” that employs three power resources: natural gas and diesel, energy cells and a battery bank.
The microgrid is a ‘smart grid’, in effect, as it can sense the capacity and power needed for the HPCC, and adjust automatically, for both optimum power consumption as well as cost-effectiveness. The microgrid serves as a collaborative effort in a research and development capacity for Georgia Power, Southern Company R&D, The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and DataBank.
This project will give the collaborators a better understanding of the resiliency, sustainability, and cost of microgrids to help develop emerging energy solutions. The project is a unique addition to DataBank’s ATL1 data center in midtown Atlanta’s Tech Square CODA collaborative.
Serving several purposes, the microgrid can act as an emergency generator source in case of power failure. Second, it acts as a standalone power source delivering a maximum of 1.5 megawatts to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s High-Performance Computer Center (HPCC), which is housed in ATL1. In addition, the microgrid can run parallel to Georgia Power’s grid as an additional power source.
The cost of powering the HPCC during peak hours increases significantly. The benefit of the microgrid is that during peak hours, it can adjust energy draws and peak load to save costs. The microgrid is also capable of sensing the HPCC total kilowatt load and then delivering power based on the capacity needed.
Just like its heat recycling initiative, the microgrid, is another example of how DataBank smartly applies technology innovations to evolve the data center experience and meet the demands of customers, partners, and the data center environment’