Data centers want to be greener

Context

Data is expected to only increase, reaching 175 zettabytes by 2025, which implies more activities for data centers. These infrastructures hosting all the digital transactions that happen every day are estimated to consume 1% of all electricity around the world, mainly for computing, data storage and the cooling of the data center.  

In response to these trends, data centers focus their efforts on delivering a more efficient, low (or no) carbon footprint operation. Some data centers move their workload to other colder regions in order to reduce energy costs for cooling. But this is not always desired or even possible.

As the complete equipment of a data center is powered by electricity, the impact on the environment of a data center is largely dependent on how that electricity is produced. Therefore, technology companies are increasingly investing to build their own sources of renewable energies.

What is the problem?

Even if data centers invest a lot in renewables to produce their own energy, as the demand doesn’t always match the supply, the introduction of these renewables only solves half of the equation. Indeed, without a way to store that energy for later and redistribute it when needed, data centers still rely largely on the local grid.

Is there a solution?

A way to solve all the equation is to store the energy when production exceeds consumption and be able to use the excess of renewable energy at another moment. That stored energy can be used for example:

  • When the production is lower than the consumption (self-consumption)
  • When the energy cost is too high compared to a later moment (energy arbitrage)
  • When the demand is larger than the actual desired grid usage (peak shaving)
  • Or even sell it back to the utility when the market price is high enough (market integration)

Data centers needs to solve their needs for more and more energy and at the same time being as C02 neutral as possible. But how can they get enough energy and make it as green as possible? Our answer would be: go step by step!

  • Step 1: invest in green energy (most common are PV panels)
  • Step 2: install a small energy storage system to interact with the grid to relieve it and therefore reduce your footprint
  • Step 3: combine multiple renewable energy sources (sun, wind, water, …)
  • Step 4: add more energy storage and become almost autonomous (and CO2 neutral) or at least consume as much as possible green energy without using the grid.

You understand the idea: you start small and increase when you need more or are ready to do more.

How CE+T Energrid can help you?

We have developed solutions to help you achieve these steps towards an effective use of renewable energies.

Converters & Systems

Our power converters are developed based on CE+T Power’s ECI patented technology. They are able to connect multiple sources of AC and DC loads: batteries, renewable energies, EV charger, etc. We offer 3 technology platforms, each based on innovative converters with 3 bidirectional ports.

Select your building block depending on your voltage requirements and output power:

Building blocksAC voltageOutput power
Sierra 25 – 48/230 (info)230
3×400
2.4 to 30 kW
Sierra 25 – 48/120 (info)120
120/240
3×208
2.25 to 30 kW
Hercules (info)3×40020 to 240 kW or multiple blocks of 240 kW
Stabiliti 30C3 – 750/400 (info)3×40025 to 200 kW
Stabiliti 30C3 – 750/480 (info)3×48030 to 240 kW

Monitoring

In order to manage the production and consumption, we have monitoring solutions including PMS functions such as peak shaving, demand response or energy arbitrage. Our PMS can be connected to a third-party EMS to do even more!

Ok but what is it for you?

Here are some benefits our solutions can bring you:

  • Solution can be integrated in many ways: rack, cabinet or container
  • Easy maintenance: plug & play, highly reliable (low MTBF)
  • Evolve with your needs: converters are modular and scalable
  • Advanced monitoring features
  • Work on-grid and off-grid
  • … and many more!

We are helping Alpha Innovations in their energy transition

We are supplying Alpha Innovations, our sister company, with an 80-kW Hercules Power Conversion System and 75-kWh Li-ion batteries as part of their microgrid under construction. They recently installed 467 solar panels of 335Wp each on the roof of their plant in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). They will combine all these components with Compas, their infrastructure controller software, to increase their self-consumption and reduce their peaks.

More on Alpha Innovations website...

How the CE+T Group can help you manage your energy consumption?

Today, companies have multiple ways of producing their own energy. Their consumption varies and sometimes, they have a huge amount of energy left. This energy can be sold to energy suppliers. However, the price at which this energy is sold varies day by day, hour after hour.

That’s where the CE+T Group comes in: with a collaboration between the entities of the Group, we offer solutions that help you manage your energy consumption.

How do we do it?

By combining the knowledge and experience of CE+T Energrid in energy management, Alpha Innovations in monitoring solutions and CE+T Power in manufacturing of innovative converters.

  • Solutions for renewable energy

We offer 3 technology platforms, each based on innovative converters with 3 bidirectional ports. With one single module, you can connect anything!

Regarding energy transition, we can introduce new features for energy management such as:
- Peak shavings (to reduce costs)
- Increase in self-consumption (with storage solutions)
- Response to demand (to shift consumption over time)
- Pure power supply (no voltage drops, sag or surge)
- MPPT
- ...

  • Monitoring

Alpha Innovations has years of experience in monitoring solutions. Among them, the Universal Compas Controller (UCC). The UCC communicates with the servers of the energy suppliers to define the quantity of energy that is required on their networks. This information is translated into electrical signals that are then used to control the sources and the loads.

  • Power backup solutions

The innovative solutions developed by CE+T Power are used for power backup but also for energy management. The features and high reliability of the modules bring an added value to our customers.

What are the key advantages of our innovative solutions?

  • Customization

If you have specific requirements, we can take them into account by developing custom modules and monitoring solutions. We have teams of engineers in each entity who work together to design, build and manufacture the solutions that best meet our customers’ needs. Moreover, depending on the situation, the UCC can easily be reconfigured.

  • Grid Stability

Our solutions help stabilize the grid. By communicating with the energy supplier, you can help balance production and consumption on the network. That’s what the UCC does. Moreover, the power supply solutions have features that also help with grid stability such as demand response and an increase in self-consumption.

  • Cybersecurity

Our solutions imply a constant communication with servers, it is therefore crucial for them to be protected from cyberattacks, which is a tangible concern for all our customers. Thanks to our monitoring solutions, all communication can be encrypted using TLS. Moreover, our UCC supports a wide variety of highly reliable protocols.

For which applications?

Our solutions can be used in all applications where energy optimization is important. For example, they can be useful in small power plants that use renewable energy, co-generation or biomass. Another example of application is in the railway sector where power hubs are required in remote areas. In the telecom sector, as small losses are multiplied by thousands of systems, our solutions provide smarter energy management.

Do you also need help with energy management? Contact us!