Headquartered in the Italian industrial north, AB Energy is a global company specializing in manufacturing and installation on-site power plants with Jenbacher gas engines. Worldwide, AB Energy has supplied more than 1,650 megawatts (MW) of on-site, Ecomax® power plants, supported by a global service organization with more than 300 specialized service technicians. Recently, AB’s global engine population surpassed more than 50 million operating hours.
In recent years, gas engine performance has drawn up alongside diesel, but with significantly lower emissions and ongoing operating costs. Furthermore, investing in gas engine power generation creates an opportunity to run on biomethane and to convert the plant to hydrogen power in the future enabling current or future carbon neutral operation.
Building on 40 years of experience with modular, pre-engineered Ecomax® power plants, AB provides power plants specifically designed for data center applications. Whether a data center requires fast start for traditional standby power applications, or 24/7 operation as the primary power source, AB’s modular systems are the ideal power solution for many data center applications.
Not only are AB’s purpose-designed plants able to run either in parallel or independent from the grid, modular combined heat and power (CHP) and tri-generation options are also available to deliver power, heat and cooling to a data center at the highest possible system efficiencies.
Whether a data center requires only one or two megawatts of power or as much as 40-50 MW, AB has a modular power plant solution that is optimized for this challenging application. The modular design furthermore facilitates expanding the power plant when the data center expands.
Standardization of pre-engineered, modular power plants furthermore facilitates fast, scalable and repeatable installations while achieving the highest possible plant reliability. Over a period of several decades, AB continually updated and optimized its on-site, Ecomax® power plant solutions, resulting in a global engine population that delivers the maximum performance.
One area where AB sees significant potential is for gas engine power plants to become the primary power source for data centers, either by including additional engines to maximize reliability or with the grid as back up.
Through third-party ownership solutions, the entire capital expenditure of what would otherwise be a traditional diesel standby power plant can be removed from the project cost, while power, heating and cooling can be provided at a lower cost than what otherwise would be supplied by the grid. AB also sees an increase in situations where the local grid simply does not have the capacity to deliver the power required for ever expanding data centers.
Furthermore, in today’s rapidly evolving electricity markets it is quite likely that an Ecomax® power plant can generate incremental revenues through demand-response programs or provide grid support to compensate for the intermittent nature of solar and wind power.
Where fast start capability is required, Ecomax® modular power plants can be offered with the Jenbacher, three megawatt fast-start engine, which can go from standstill to full load in under 45 seconds.
And should there be a prolonged grid outage, an Ecomax®, modular gas engine power plant can power the datacenter for the duration of the outage without the need for securing the supply of diesel fuel.
In addition to building best in class modular power plants AB furthermore provides customers with a single source responsibility, backed by a global service organization.