Vertiv has opened its Vertiv Customer Experience Centre, featuring a microgrid power solution to help data centres address electrical grid capacity and availability challenges. Data centres are experiencing these challenges as advancements in digital transformation, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Generative AI (GenAI), are straining traditional electrical utilities. Vertiv partnered with American Electric Power (AEP) on the microgrid application. The microgrid and experience centre are now active at the Vertiv Delaware facility.
Microgrids for data centres have become increasingly popular as trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) require more power than is available from traditional electric grids. Additionally, microgrids can be used to reduce reliance on the electrical grid for power capacity and availability, and to reduce diesel generator backup starts.
Vertiv will be leveraging the application as proof of concept to test operational functions of the microgrid and Vertiv™ data centre infrastructure technologies, including reliability, backup duration, and the responsiveness of the microgrid during a variety of normal and extreme operating conditions. The Vertiv microgrid merges best-in-class, reliable, and eco-friendly infrastructure technologies to support data centre availability and sustainability objectives.
“Our customers are evaluating the role of microgrids and battery energy storage systems (BESS) for their mission critical power systems. Standing up a microgrid that serves as both a customer experience centre and a test lab for performance will enable Vertiv to help our customers make critical decisions on whether a microgrid and BESS are right for their data centre and how to deploy their own microgrid sites,” said Kyle Keeper, senior vice president, Global AC Power product development and engineering at Vertiv. “This is an important step in helping our customers operate more efficiently and effectively with the electrical grid.”
The 1.0 megawatt (MW) microgrid includes a 1.0 MW AC Solar PV (photovoltaic) array, 400KW Hydrogen Fuel Cell, 1.0 MW Vertiv™ DynaFlex Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), and Vertiv’s Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system, lithium-ion battery, system controls, and other critical components.
Microgrids reduce vulnerability to utility outages by using a number of connected distributed energy resources, with a BESS storing the energy and providing it on demand as needed. In the Vertiv application, energy sources are coming from the electrical utility, the solar array and the hydrogen fuel cell.