Learning Lab

Data Centers Part 1: The Diesel Back-up (Power Outage) Scenario

Data Centers Part 1: The Diesel Back-up (Power Outage) Scenario

Host Info

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Glenn Schuyler
Senior Consultant | Principal
+1.519.823.1311 x2214
Go to Glenn Schuyler 's page


November 21, 2017
12:00 AM, New York (GMT-5)
60 min


Data centers are unique facilities that have significant energy use, cooling and back-up power requirements.  Due to the high level of required reliability, there are many potential operational issues that need to be considered and addressed as part of the design process.  The operational issues vary depending on the mode of operation for the data center – normal mode, or emergency diesel back-up.  Part 1 of this seminar will give a general overview of all the operational issues that relate to microclimate and internal ventilation under both operating scenarios.  The majority of the seminar will focus on describing the details of the issues specifically related to the diesel back-up scenario.  The details for normal operation will be addressed in Part 2. 

Many of the issues under diesel back-up are related to the existing site, local microclimate conditions (wind, snow, temperature) and operation of the generators.  Specific topics to be covered include:

Design issues in cold climates 

  • Snow drifting and infiltration

Exhaust dispersion & re-entrainment 

  • Re-entrainment of pollutants (air quality)
  • Re-entrainment of heated exhaust plumes (equipment performance)

Noise & Vibration

  • Noise and vibration impacts from operation of the generators.

The seminar will describe the specialized modeling tools that can be used to study these operational issues during the design phase to address any problematic conditions through design modifications.  Specific project examples will be used to illustrate the issues and possible mitigation concepts. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an understanding of the many unique design challenges and risks associated with data centers.
  2. Through a detailed discussion of specialized modeling methods, recognize how these tools can be used to evaluate and optimize data center design.
  3. Understand the general operation of data center equipment and how the operation and performance of critical equipment can be threatened during a back-up power scenario.
  4. Through the material presented and case study examples discussed, understand the specific design challenges associated with the Diesel Back-up Power scenario, and different strategies to avoid these issues and reduce risk.

Affiliated Associations

  • AIA