Why combined heat and power makes sense for data centers

Date: 5 May 2015

Data center operators are late adopters of combined heat and power, a technology that’s been around since the late 1800s and used extensively in hospitals, refineries, petrochemical and biotech facilities. But using such plants as the source of data center power can have substantial energy efficiency and cost reductions benefits.

aldron presented a case study of a CHP deployment by a data center customer in Arizona he could not name due to confidentiality agreements. The plant has been saving the customer about $776,000 per year in operational costs.

The customer’s business-as-usual annual cost was close to $2 million. Considering the annual savings and that the capital cost of deploying the CHP was $3.7 million, the payback in that particular case is about 4.8 years, according to Waldron. That’s “simple payback,” which doesn’t include things like utility incentives, capacity payments, and tax treatment.

Source: Data Center Knowledge