Data centers are looking at HVO as a way to green their backup diesel operations
HVO is a synthetic paraffinic diesel, made from vegetable oils or waste, reprocessed with added hydrogen. Unlike previous biofuels, it is a drop-in replacement fuel that can be used without modifications to existing engines. It offers a similar energy content, density, viscosity, and flash point. Some studies suggest horsepower in HVO-fueled generators may be reduced by 2-3 percent. It also performs very well from start-up in cold climates.
Who is adopting HVO?
UK operators Kao Data, Ark, and Datum, Compass in the US, as well as Belgium’s LCL, and Latvia’s DEAC are all looking to adopt HVO as fuel for their backup generators. Most haven’t shared exactly how much fuel they are procuring, but Kao said it would be replacing 45,000 liters of diesel, and be procuring more than 750,000 liters when its 35MW Harlow campus is fully developed.
On the other hand, Equinix is piloting HVO, but its 2022 environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report doesn’t give details beyond the CO2 savings. Equinix says its HVO generated 30 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e) net, while the equivalent diesel would have generated 40,300 mtCO2e. Using Crown Oil’s 195kg per 1,000 liters benchmark, that comes out at around 150,000 liters of HVO, a fairly significant amount.
Kohler’s generator manufacturing plant in Brest, France, has switched from diesel to HVO, with a total of 325,000 litres used. Outside of the data center industry, the transportation, construction, aviation, marine, and off-road equipment sectors are all users of HVO.
Kao Data Centre Campus in the Harlow Enterprise Zone
At Inpro we also offer customised solutions and equipment (which are HVO compatible) for Data Centers in Europe.
News about hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)
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