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European Data Center Becomes First to Use Vegetable Oil Fuel for its Generators

(Credit: Pixabay)

Kao Data, a developer and operator of carrier neutral data centers for high performance colocation, has announced it has become the UK’s first data center to transition all backup generators at its Harlow campus to HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) fuel. This move, made possible by partnering with Crown Oil, means Kao Data will eliminate up to 90% of net CO2 from their backup generators and significantly reduce nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide emissions.

Kao Data’s existing initiatives include using 100% renewable energy, utilizing 100% refrigerant-free indirect evaporative cooling technologies, and incorporating hyperscale inspired design to deliver a market-leading PUE of <1.2, even at partial loads. In line with its commitments as a signatory of the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact (CNDCP), the use of Crown Oil HVO fuel marks another significant step in the company’s plans to become a fully carbon neutral data centre operator by 2030.

HVO is one of the cleanest fuels on the market, and is a second-generation, advanced renewable diesel alternative. Synthesized from vegetable oils using a specialist hydro treatment process, HVO has been designed to combat the performance inadequacies of earlier biofuels. It offers improved burning efficiency, delivering the same level of resilience as traditional fossil fuels. Kao Data will replace an initial 45,000 litres of diesel and switch to an HVO provision of more than 750,000 litres when the campus is fully developed.Using HVO also offers a number of additional benefits in respect of infrastructure reliability. It eliminates microbial growth, which generates sludge that can contaminate fuel lines and potentially lead to engine shut down.

Furthermore, HVO requires no modification to existing infrastructure and can be used as a direct replacement for diesel. It has a storage life that is 10 times that of standard diesel and offers resilient year-round performance in both low and high temperatures. It is also easier to maintain, free from aromatics, sulphur and metals, odourless and completely biodegradable.

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