Trigeneration Systems in the Data Center

Trigen250

“Waste not, Want not!” This is one of my most often stated phrases. I use it at home with my kids (and oh how they hate it!) I use it at work. I just hear myself say it, and I smile to myself, because I really believe it. So, of course it was the first thing that popped into my head as I read this interesting article about Trigeneration on the Data Center Journal website.

What is Trigeneration?

The Data Center Journal explains that “Also known as combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) or “trigen,” trigeneration is a way to exploit the heat energy produced by, for instance, the burning of natural gas or coal to produce electricity by way of turbines. As the more descriptive name of CCHP indicates, trigeneration provides cooling and heating in addition to the typical electrical power produced in a generation facility.”

So how does this relate to your data center? Utilizing CCHP, you can actually use the “waste” heat generated in your data center, not only to heat other areas of your building, but even to cool other areas (the heat is used to drive absorption chillers that then provide cooling to servers or office space) The article states “According to several sources, trigeneration can yield efficiencies of over 80 percent…and a trigeneration system is over twice as efficient as an average power plant. In other words, implementing trigeneration could conceivably cut a data center’s fuel costs in half.”

The rest of the article delves deep into the pros and cons of using this technology, sites a case study, and draws some interesting conclusions. Read the entire article “The Trigeneration Data Center: What Is It?” now.

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