Refueling the diesel tanks

Refueling the diesel tanks

25-03-2020 10:40:25


In order to guarantee availability, it is important that the data center that houses your critical IT equipment is equipped with a reliable infrastructure. Maybe one of the most important parts of this infrastructure is the power and emergency power supply. If the power fails, you have to be able to blindly trust that the emergency power supply takes over seamlessly. At BIT, we test the emergency power supplies every month and we perform a ‘black-building test’ bi-annually to ensure that the emergency power supply works when it needs to.

The moment that the power goes out, redundant UPS systems power the equipment until the diesel generates have started up and can provide the power. The generators (set up redundantly) provide 3 x 1750kVA in that moment (comparable to the power supply of a town with 25.000 inhabitants for two days at full power) to provide our data center BIT-2BCD with power. The diesel storage tanks are used to provide the emergency power generators with fuel. These tanks are refilled twice a year on average. 

How does this work?

The diesel tanks for the generators at BIT-2BCD have a capacity of 3 x 15.000 liters and are set up separately in closed off fire compartments. A generator can run about two days on a full tank an every tank can be fed from two other tanks. This gives the fuel supplier enough time to refuel the thanks. The diesel tanks are refilled twice a year on average, but this obviously depends on how often and how long the generators need to be used. Our data center engineers monitor the consumptions closely and make sure that the tanks are always at least three quarters full.

Refueling diesel data center Fuel data center Speed refueling diesel tanks

After connecting the earth cable, the tanks are filled up one by one. This happens with the speed of around 450 liters per minute. In ‘no-time’ the tanks have been filled up completely. We can also refuel the tanks when the generators are running.

The diesel fuel we use is Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) and is made from natural gas. This has a number of advantages:

  • It is less harmful to the environment.

  • Burns cleaner, no more diesel smells.

  • It can withstand 20 degrees of frost without creating flakes in the fuel.

Would you like to take a look at our infrastructure yourself? Please feel free to contact us for a tour of our data centers.

By: Peter van Wijk