Critical Protection Power for East Coast Data Centres

International designer and manufacturer of diesel engines and power generation systems Cummins Inc. has partnered with global data centre giant Digital Realty to provide critical diesel generator back-up infrastructure at new data centres in Sydney and Melbourne.

To counteract the considerable demand on power supply and air-conditioning systems by numerous servers at data centres, Cummins’ initial installation involved six C2250 gensets at each data centre, along with custom-built acoustic enclosures and fuel systems.

The emergency back-up power is critical to ensure integrity and functionality of the computer environment. Both data centres are Tier 3 certified as defined by the Uptime Institute. The core Tier 3 requirement is maintenance can be performed on any part of the mechanical or electrical plant in the facility without impacting the computer equipment.

Under Tier 3 certification, the generator power is regarded as the prime power for the data centre and thus the gensets must be rated for continuous operation – 1600kW in the case of the C2250 genset, which is powered by Cummins’ 60 litres QSK60 engine.

The gensets are part of the redundancy at the data centres, which is N+1, meaning all systems have at least one independent back up in the event of component failure.

The gensets work in conjunction with a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system of batteries. In the event of a mains failure, the UPS system maintains power supply until the gensets come on-line and take over within 10 seconds.

In Melbourne, each genset has an integrated 20,000 litres base tank meaning they are capable of full load operation for a minimum 48 hours. In Sydney 80,000 litres of underground diesel storage capacity guarantees the roof-mounted gensets can run a minimum 24 hours at full load.