Energy & Data On The Move

IBM Data CentreBoth Energy Plants and Data Centres are on the move, trends and economic realities rapidly shape new emerging energy and data processing industries. The fact is energy production and data centre operations need to relocate or “disperse” their businesses and infrastructure to meet current demands and the demands of the foreseeable future.

“Energy producers and Data Centre operators face fresh new challenges, but new synergies are emerging – these are real game changers”.    

PowerCan® 200 is a modular small scale gasification plant; wood-chip, biomass or cellulose feedstock is automatically fed into a vessel which produces synthesis gas without emission. The synthesis gas [Syngas] is then burned in a CHP unit to produce 200kW of energy 24 hours a day. Unlike other renewable energy sources the PowerCan® 200 works in all weathers day and night and almost anywhere.

Data Centres Became Modular

Data Centres are modular, Data Centre projects are delivered one as infrastructure and two as data modules. The infrastructure is a warehouse with power connections and services and the Data Servers are packed and remain in steel shipping containers, the Data Centre is now literally a warehouse with containers inside.

A modular approach to Data Process means that Data Centres can be more rapidly online and they can be extended plug and play as needs require. The Data Centre can now be dispersed out of town because needs in the market and technology is changing. A warehouse for containers can be purpose built, but many existing big box construction can be adapted to facilitate Data Centre needs. Many Retail Parks demonstrate ideal Data Centre locations, they are a big box construction on busy people axis with large energy connections. As retailing shopping destinations evolve as shop front for internet sales less fashion is sold off the peg and more back of house space becomes available.

Energy Production Became Modular Too

Small scale gasification such as PowerCan® 200 evolve as modular power plant solutions. The PowerCan® 200 co-fires local waste with universally available wood-chip, PowerCan® 200 is also movable it is designed to be located either at the source of the waste or better where it can deliver energy most efficiently. PowerCan® 200 can be relocated and as often as efficiency demands.

The modular approach to power solutions means that a single PowerCan® 200 or a cluster of PowerCan® 200’s can be located as the operator needs, the “New Warship Mentality” of the PowerCan® 200 operates clusters 5 or more units for every 1MWe of power needed, so that even in dire event there is enough power to stay out of trouble. The cluster betters the current N+1 ideal for energy security from back up diesel generators.

Like Data Centre servers PowerCan® 200 ships in 20ft containers its CHP engine room is located and controlled in a 20ft container. PowerCan® 200 produces 200kWe of electricity it’s the typical consumption of one Data Centre server room

Data Centre Needs

Data Centres use a lot of power, and just like the edge of town Retail Shopping Centre their energy dilemma is for keeping cool. Data Process creates a lot of heat and constantly. All cooling systems consume a lot of energy and can consume many times more energy than heating. The basic energy needs of a Data Centre are availability of a reliable energy connection and far better energy efficiency

PowerCan® 200 Consumption

PowerCan® 200 needs four tons of feedstock every day [assuming 25% moisture], the basis of this feedstock is ideally wood-chip, wood-chip is available almost anywhere. As we have demonstrated in other publications harvesting wood-chip benefits the environment.

PowerCan® 200 can consume other waste such as cellulose and various biomass. Clean cellulose from source is a very suitable feedstock for gasification, packaging and paper has a low moisture content it also delivers a low ash content. Combining local waste with wood-chip under the right circumstances can create very low cost electricity. Heat is also produced in the CHP unit as hot water, this energy can be used for process and modern installations such as retail centres, hospitals or warehouses which can often consume all of the heat.

The Expansion of Data Centres

The expansion of Data Centres is prolific with just under 1 billion PC’s worldwide the advent of the smart phone and mobile tablet industry with its exponential growth it is set to outnumber PC’s users by 2 to1 already by 2016.

Since telecommunication and data communication became one industry the fact is more data is being processed on the move than it is from any stationary address, the industry needs to address this massive expansion of over 300% in the next 5 years. With 2 billion smart phones and tablets world -wide older phones become redundant, operators pressure is a reduction in revenue and an increase in cost having to provide more for less.

Mobility means the needs for data process is shifted it means operators must upgrade services and facilities to maintain the demand quality as it becomes dispersed and no longer centralized. Competitive positioning for Data Centres is assumed satellite around major Cities and within the approximate distance of the Cities furthest retail parks and airports but it will become more dispersed as the demands of our connected society progresses.

The Expansion Of The Power Industry

Aging power infrastructure is a real problem in our current age, the fact is most of it is too old and we rapidly make new and greater demand of a utility beyond its peak one that is nearing the end of its life cycle. Locating ever larger scale power plant projects at one end or another of existing infrastructure seldom makes economic sense instead we are promoting small dispersed power generation.

Modern power stations that co-fire biomass as feedstock often embed more CO₂ importing feedstock than they can ever save over large traditional power projects. Historically every large scale public projects have had delivery problems, there are significant risks in the PPP sector they have cost overruns, delays and many quality issues. In the past these risk were mitigated with free public money, the tax payer simply paid for it without question; this is no longer an option

Small scale energy projects are all empowering unlike large scale projects they are affordable and the profitability of small scale projects creates much redistribution of wealth. Dispersed Energy means smaller, local and more manageable projects, dispersed energy solutions are smaller and can better connect anywhere because they have more possible junctions to join an existing grid. Extending the life cycle of what we have makes sense especially in making the maintenance and modernization of the gird more manageable.

Dispersed energy is born through small scale projects many of which are plug and play, there is little lead in time, the risks of project delays are minimal. Economically dispersed energy produces energy locally and redistribute that wealth locally, it creates real jobs and real economy locally.

How Can Data Centres Become More Efficient?

Data Centres consume a lot of energy, as the Data Provider engages more mobile clients for less revenue the pressure on Data Centre for energy efficiency increases. Data Centres need be well dispersed about our major cities and satellites to be competitive. Being adjacent to rural areas they can be located in lower cost environments and where renewable energy solutions are more available. In any event Data Centres located in satellite settlements are better dispersed to serve the population with PowerCan® 200 as a partner, they provide value added commercial opportunities to suburban communities where they have biggest impact on the local economy and where they can benefit from lower cost services.

How Can PowerCan® 200 Accelerate Data Centre Change?

A well established PowerCan® 200 supply network reduces the cost of electricity by more than 50% [and over 70% in Germany] the network has the fastest repayment record in the renewable energy industry. PowerCan® 200 provides energy and cost security in a rapid changing economy where energy costs and reliability are critical to the operation of a business.

Suwałki, 11 December 2013

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About Steve

Over 20 years in Real Estate and Project Development
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