Data centres: understanding the air quality impact

It's no secret that human reliance on data is increasing every single day. With so many aspects of our economic, commercial and social lives now online, data centres have become one of the most important classes of infrastructure.

Fiona Prismall, Technical Director
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The air quality impact of data centre back-up generators

Fundamentally, data centres must be designed and built for resilience, efficiency and security. To ensure security of power to the facility, a relatively small area of the site will be allocated to onsite emergency back-up power generation. Typically, these back-up generators will be fuelled by diesel and their installation will trigger the need for an air quality assessment to accompany a planning application or an environmental permit.

Back-up generators need to be tested regularly throughout the year. And when they are, they emit potentially harmful pollutants into the air.

In a recent article published by AWE International, Fiona Prismall (Technical Director) explains the air quality impact and what this means for data centre developers; including the specific considerations for Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), Nature Conservation Sites and more.

Looking to the future, Fiona also explores the recent passing of the Environment Bill and what more stringent limits on ambient air pollutant concentrations may mean for future resilience.

 

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