CHP systems offer an important energy efficiency opportunity for data centers. However, policy and technology barriers have limited CHP deployment, leaving data centers to rely primarily on grid-supplied based electricity for their energy needs and diesel reciprocating engine generators for backup power.
The following excerpt is from an article titled, “CHP in Data Centers: Barriers and Opportunities,” that appeared January 7, 2013 on The Alliance to Save Energy website.
Data centers interested in implementing CHP systems have faced a variety of challenges to deployment. These challenges are similar to those faced by other institutions interested in implementing CHP or distributed generation technologies. “Utilities can often contribute to a project being easy, difficult, or impossible to implement,” according to Sam Brewer at GEM Energy, a firm that has implemented two micro turbine CHP projects at college data centers.