Regular maintenance for reliable emergency power in Fortum’s district cooling units in Espoo

Reliable operations of server rooms and data centres require effective cooling. Fortum provides district cooling services in Espoo, among others. Uninterrupted operation of the cooling units is secured by means of emergency power units supplied and maintained by kW-Set.

Pertti Strömmer, project manager at Fortum Power and Heat Oy, has participated in the development of the district cooling units in Tapiola and Espoonlahti, among others. Reliable operations of server rooms and data centres require effective cooling. Today, cooling can also be outsourced; in other words, the cooling energy is produced elsewhere and delivered to the facility through a pipeline, just like district heating.

Ecological district cooling also produces heat

Fortum’s cooling units in the Kivenlahti and Tapiola districts in Espoo provide the cooling energy needed in the nearby server rooms. The cooling units use Fortum’s energy-saving solution that considerably reduces carbon dioxide emissions and has received an innovation award*. The waste heat generated in the cooling process is fed into the district heating network. The heat emitted by the servers and the waste heat from the entire cooling plant are recovered and used in the district heating network. One server room generates 30 GWh of heat into the district heating network annually. This reduces the annual carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 tonnes.

*) The winner of Fortum’s Innovation Award 2010: Emergency capacity and cooling, Ilkka Niiranen, Esa Mörsky and Pertti Strömmer

Cooling must be uninterrupted

In case of disturbances in electricity distribution, the operations of Fortum’s cooling units have been secured with Cummins emergency power units supplied by kW-Set. The sites apply the N+1 principle and have three 1400 kVA units, synchronised with the grid, in each. These units will start up to ensure uninterrupted cooling in the case of a power outage or a fault of current in the continuous electricity supply.

Regular maintenance ensures the operation of emergency power units

“The emergency power units are fairly new – they have been installed and commissioned in stages since 2010. Since the emergency power units must be 100% reliable, their operating capability is ensured by means of regular maintenance and test runs.

Investing in a regular care of the units is a minor inconvenience and a minimal expense, compared to potentially having a non-functioning unit when emergency power is needed. We carry out the monthly test runs at the sites ourselves. The test runs last from 30 minutes to one hour and can be carried out with the maximum load, since the energy generated is fed into the national grid.

kW-Set has been in charge of carrying out the annual maintenance and providing reports on it. I am extremely happy about how reliably maintenance works. kW-Set contacts us when the annual maintenance is approaching and together we set up the date for the maintenance session. This is how good and active service is provided. It makes my work easier and enables us to outsource our maintenance operations in the first place. In addition, the maintenance personnel is highly skilled and performs work in a timely manner.

We receive extensive reports on the maintenance procedures and they can be used in a number of ways, for example, in customer certification or compliance with the requirements of the authorities,” says Markus Karevaara, manager of the maintenance group at Fortum Power and Heat Oy’s Separate production unit in Espoo.