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

Brandon Galbraith brandon.galbraith at gmail.com
Thu Jun 14 16:55:32 UTC 2007

On 6/14/07, chuck goolsbee <chucklist at forest.net> wrote:
> The issue with straight vegetable oil is that it
> must be pre-heated to >55°C 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).

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