Sustainability Efforts Must Include Backup Power Generation

A new white paper from Kohler explores the importance of including backup power generation sources in your efforts around sustainability and climate change mitigation.

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“The climate crisis is the greatest single threat to global security,” according to a new white paper from Kohler. Driven in part by new regulations, customer demand, and internal stakeholders, a growing number of organizations are recognizing that they have a role to play in mitigating the global climate crisis. While considering ways to reduce your environmental impact, the author emphasizes that your backup power generation sources cannot be forgotten.

Backup generators allow critical infrastructure to remain online during outages and are critical to hospitals, data centers, airports, and water plants, among others. Even though they are used for short periods of time, most backup generators are gas or diesel-powered and do emit particulates while in use. This means that users need a way to “balance the need for emergency power with the climate emergency.”

In the white paper, Kohler discusses the specific steps they’re taking to develop optimized and efficient diesel and after-treatment systems to support their customer’s sustainability goals. This includes an exploration of other “pathway” technologies like bio-sourced diesel fuel, which can reduce CO2 emissions. While some biofuels can present challenges around storage, stability, corrosiveness and aging, “these issues are less of a concern with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVOs),” according to Kohler.

“In the data center sector, in particular, GAFAM hyperscale operators are actively researching megawatt-scale battery systems, with ongoing trials currently being performed to assess technical characteristics such as energy density and space requirements.” – Kohler, Sustainable Power Generation: Kohler’s Pursuit of Clean Energy Solutions

The author then explores the pros and cons of utility-scale batteries as a possible alternative to diesel generators. Kohler notes that the challenges with this solution include issues around reliability, quality and cost-effectiveness, though they “remain an attractive long-term option for providing mission-critical power.”

Finally, the author looks at the potential use of hydrogen fuel cells as a “cost-effective means of supplying environmentally friendly back-up power.”

Download the full report to learn more about why your sustainability efforts must include your backup power generation.

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