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Re: Diesel storage (was:RE: 24x7 Support Strategies)

  • From: Brandon Galbraith
  • Date: Thu Jun 14 12:58:57 2007
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On 6/14/07, chuck goolsbee <[email protected]> wrote:

The issue with straight vegetable oil is that it
must be pre-heated to >55ÂC to efficiently run in
a Diesel engine without risk of injector or
injector pump clogging. This is not exactly
efficient for fail-over power generation as you
would either need to build dual-tank and heating
systems (still storing SOME petro-Diesel AND
losing X% of your power generation facility to
heating your fuel in the process... a LOT of
electricity as most backup gensets have a LOT of
fuel around to heat up... looking outside my
office window I see two tanks, one 19000 liters,
the other 30,000 liters in capacity.) Or you
would need to mix that SVO with petroleum Diesel,
to thin it enough to run risk free... negating
your desire to rid yourself of petrochemical risk.

Not to go too far off-topic, but it's very true that the best thing to use is straight petrol diesel for your redundant power systems at a datacenter. No fun telling a client power went out for 12 hours because your fuel supply had gelled due to the low overnight temps (depending on location of course). As the price of petrol fuel supplies slowly moves upward due to demand from China and India, I foresee datacenters moving away from diesel generators as backup power sources towards fuel cells/generators that can burn natural gas and hydrogen.

With that said, climates such as Brazil's would be perfect to use generators burning ethanol for backup power (also helped by the large ethanol distribution infrastructure in place there).