Utilities Middle East
POWERING THE ENERGY TRANSITION
Leading power digitalisation for a smart and sustainable world, Huawei Digital Power has been striving to help clients improve efficiency and smarten up facilities since its creation in June 2021. The recent Global Digital Power Summit 2021 held in Dubai
Countries in the Middle East are stepping up efforts to achieve their net-zero targets by embracing the energy transition, digitalisation, and systematically applying energy efficiency solutions in all key sectors of the economy.
Leading power digitalisation for a smart and sustainable world, Huawei Digital Power has been striving to help carriers improve efficiency and smarten up facilities.
The company’s solutions help both telecom and tower carriers simplify facility deployment, improve power reliability, increase energy efficiency and make O&M smart, enable ICT networks to evolve to 5G and cloud smoothly.
Huawei Digital Power recently concluded its Global Digital Power Summit 2021 in Dubai, UAE, which saw more than 500 participants from 67
countries and from across various industries attending the event.
As the world prioritizes carbon neutrality and post-pandemic recovery, the summit aimed to inspire collective action towards building a low-carbon and smarter society powered by digital technologies.
“Carbon neutrality has become a global consensus and mission. To achieve that goal, power production needs to be low carbonised, and power consumption needs to be electrified. Huawei has deeply integrated digital and power electronics technologies to create all-scenario low-carbon energy solutions, covering the whole energy flow from green power generation to efficient power consumption,” said Charles Yang, Senior Vice President, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and President of Global Marketing, Sales and
Services, Huawei Digital Power.
With an increasing number of countries joining the path towards carbon neutrality, the world is brimming with opportunities for investment into renewable energy and green infrastructure.
At the summit, Huawei Digital Power called for global action to pursue low-carbon and sustainable development, which requires continuous innovation, the adoption of green practices, and banding together to build an open and win-win ecosystem.
During the summit, Sanjay Kumar Sainani, Global Senior Vice President & CTO, Huawei Digital Power talked about Huawei’s offerings within the data centre space and how these are helping customers to improve their efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions by using digital technologies and power electronics.
“Huawei is helping to build a sustainable data centre business for the digital age,” said Sainani.
“At Huawei, we have developed a prefabricated modular construction system with an end to end approach to be able to deploy data centres from a few 100 kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts.
And the prefabricated system allows us to offer reduced time to market. It allows us much reduced use of resources. And it allows us to use high rates of recyclables.”
He highlighted the current challenges within the energy sector, the carbon commitments by countries, as well as the growing importance of renewable energy and energy management.
But Sainani emphasised the importance of digital solutions to guarantee efficiency and optimum operations.
“Huawei sees green power generation using renewables as key. This would start from PV for renewable generation, micro grids using solar, energy storage, even data centers to be all part of the energy cloud, where demand driven planning can be done so that we are able to intelligently schedule clean power to the data centres. We are using technologies of AI, cloud, IoT, even blockchain, to negotiate the power demand and transactions,” said Sainani.
“This will eventually help in reduction of the energy footprint and carbon emissions. It will also help us to average out or leverage the fluctuating power tariff curves that fluctuate quite a bit when green energy comes into the grid.”
“If there is enough green energy in the grid during the day, the cost of power goes down very quickly. It can even become zero if you have surplus energy, and no buyers. On the other hand, as green energy goes away in the evening, the power cost shoots up. Managing, balancing and scheduling intelligently all of this will be a big part of this play,” he said.
Sainani noted that for responsible growth of data centres, the focus has to be on four areas: “Green Construction; where you build only what you need so that you keep your embodied carbon to minimum, Green; using renewables to reduce the carbon emission footprint in terms of energy, but also in terms of land and water, Efficient use of energy even if the source is renewable. And finally, smart management. Unless you monitor, you can’t measure, if you can’t measure you cannot manage. And so the ability to manage all these aspects is going to be very important.”
Sainani noted that due to the complexity of data centres in terms of systems and subsystems, it is always important that their architecture and construction is simplified.
Huawei sees that this simplification will help in reducing the overall real estate footprint. It will help by using the converged power pots, which are complete electrical rooms, pre-fitted, pre-tested, and embedded with IoT to offer a higher efficiency power convergence solution in a box.
“The ability to modularise them helps you to build as you grow on demand,” said Sainani.
Sainani also mentioned the importance of digital twin technology. Enabled with AI, the technology allows for intelligent visualisation of all resources within the data centre and even across the network of all data centres.
“And with this visualisation, you can have a data driven energy management, efficiency optimisation, automated operation, predictive maintenance of the data centre. All of that can help us to reduce the carbon footprint of the data centre and move towards a truly sustainable lights out data centre in the future,” said Sainani.
During the summit, Hariram Subramanian, CTO of Huawei FusionSolar talked about the best practices for integrating power electronics into power systems and highlighted the need to bridge digital technologies and power electronic technologies and converge them to have what he termed as “the internet of energy.”
He noted that the demand for renewables and their integration into the power system is fundamentally changing the relationship between technologies and power.
“There is a huge challenge to integrate fast power conversion systems into a very slowly moving rotating machinery based conventional technologies,” said Subramanian. “This is accelerating in some parts of the world where the power systems are getting weaker and weaker.”
So we have to address these through power electronic technologies that brings in the grid stability. That is one of the key challenges.
Integrating power electronics into power systems and bringing in stability to the power systems is one of the key challenges that can be addressed through power electronic technologies, noted Subramanian.
“The other challenge is related to availability and reliability, and the most important thing here is storage. The storage technology needs to be extremely safe, resilient and robust. We are seeing quite a lot of challenges. And we will address these challenges that we are seeing in the power grid through technologies and also the challenges that we are seeing in terms of safety in storage technologies” said Subramanian.
“Digital power electronics solutions can be thought in two ways, the bit stream and the watt stream. Watt is something that has to do with energy and heat, and the bit is about data and communications. These two important streams can be looked into applications in utility scale scenarios, large power plants in commercial and industrial establishment for applications in manufacturing, applications related to residential home systems, as well as micro grids and off grid solutions. And everything could be managed, in terms of a digital cloud to look into not just the data, but also to analyse the data, to understand what is happening with these power plants, be it the large scale or small scale,” explained Subramanian.
Subramanian said that stability is very important for this bridge to be effective, otherwise the entire network, whether a grid or micro grid will crash.
“We have incorporated certain very key elements and algorithms inside these technologies, and these are bringing higher amounts of power quality. We bring in something known as impedance shaping, a technique to damp any power system resonances that can happen in the grid,” said Subramanian.
“Impedance shaping is a very intelligent system that can shape the impedance of the network in a way that is able to make the grid resilient. And all is possible with effective grid sensing smart algorithms that are able to manage these kinds of different grid situations and scenarios that might happen in various geographies,” Subramanian pointed out.
When it comes to battery storage, Subramanian noted that Huawei is helping to manage the chemistry in a more intelligent and efficient way.
“We have incorporated here a very tight integration of battery management system which provides a proper calculation of state of charge, looking into the state of health for the entire system. This optimises the battery cells or battery packs, also known as the pack level optimisation, which is done in various hierarchies to increase the level of system effectiveness,” said Subramanian.
But he pointed out that the fundamental building block would be to add safety nets into the system through proper thermal balance and thermal management and through proper analytics. “This helps us to understand what is happening. Through our AI technologies, we can look into the cells and go deeper to make sure that the project is resilient, robust and also safe with these kinds of storage technologies.”
During the summit, Jasem Al Marzooqi, Head of Data Centres & Telecom Facilities at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, du, talked about low-carbon ICT network construction practices and called for an the greening of ICT to achieve carbon neutrality.
Al Marzooqi said that currently, almost 80 zettabyte of data is being used and that this is projected to reach 180 zettabyte by 2026. This, coupled with the increasing number of mobile subscribers in the region will require a lot of energy, which has carbon emission challenges.
“In the MENA region alone, today we are talking about almost 700 million subscribers, which is expected to reach 800 million, while the data traffic is expected to grow 600%. This is huge and will require robust infrastructure from the telecom networks, which will obviously mean more energy consumption and accordingly more CO2 emissions,” said Al Marzooqi.
“In this case, we will require greening through ICT, which is basically using ICT or digital enabled solutions to reduce CO2 emissions and other sectors. For example, smart grids, smart government applications, online banking, virtual meetings, all these are tools or solutions that can be used. They are being used actually to reduce CO2 emissions in other sectors. So ICT is part of the solution.”
Al Marzooqi highlighted the specific areas where du is working with Huawei to help in its efforts of reducing CO2 emissions through the use of solar systems and lithium ion batteries.
“We have been using solar since 2009 since diesel generators are high emitters of CO2 and also very costly. Last year, we started combining solar with lithium ion batteries for the first time. This has helped us to reduce our cooling power by 75% because lithium ion batteries can operate at a higher temperature compared to the traditional VRLA batteries. It also helped us to reduce our footprint by 30%,” said Al Marzooqi.
“As an absolute figure, we managed to reduce our carbon CO2 emission by almost 34% or 55% per site area.”
Al Marzooqi said that du has also deployed smart hybrid systems where the load is cycled between diesel generators and batteries.
“We have moved away from VRLA batteries and from this year we will be using lithium ion batteries and we have managed to reduce the generator runtime by more than 60%, from 24 hours to only 8 hours a day. This has helped us to reduce our diesel consumption by 60%, with 33 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided per site per year,” Al Marzooqi explained.
Al Marzooqi also said that du has adopted the one site one cabinet which is very efficient and only takes 0.6 square meter of footprint compared to the traditional shelter that occupied 60 square meters.
He noted that du has also helped to reduce the cooling power requirement by almost 70% from 2.4 kilowatt to only 0.8 kilowatt, with 7 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided per site per year.
During the summit, Huawei Digital Power emphasised its strategy of open hardware, opensource software, and layered collaboration with industry players for a greener, brighter future.
As a key part of the summit, Huawei signed memorandums of understanding with Grupo IMELSA and HYBRICO Energy for strategic collaboration on clean energy and green infrastructure development.
Huawei also signed a key contract with SEPCOIII for The Red Sea Project with 400 MW PV plus 1300 MWh battery energy storage solution (BESS), which is currently the world’s largest energy storage project.
The Huawei Digital Power Summit 2021 attracted more than 500 participants from 67 countries. In attendance were industry leaders and government officials from PV, Data Center and Site Power sectors - including Sen. Rocio Adriana Abreu Artinaño, President of the Energy Commission, Senate of the Republic of Mexico, Sanjay Kumar Sainani, Global SVP & CTO from Huawei Digital Power, Mohammad Saeed Bin Sulaiman, CEO of Data Hub Integrated Solutions LLC (MORO), Hariram Subramanian, CTO of Huawei FusionSolar, Manish Singhal, Head of Solar PV, ACWA Power, Michel FRAISSE, Vice President & CTO, Huawei Digital Power Europe, Jasem Al Marzooqi, Head of Data Centers & Telecom Facilities, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, du, Prof Rabih Bashroush, Global Head of IT Infrastructure Advisory at Uptime Institute, and many more have shared technologies, insights and policies to meet the future opportunities in renewable energy and green ICT infrastructure.
Experts from data center energy including Simon McCormick, CTO of Echelon, Seppo Ihalainen, CEO & Co-founder of Ficolo,
Prof Rabih Bashroush, Global Head of IT Infrastructure Advisory at Uptime Institute, and Jim Campbell, BEng (Hons) Building Services, MIET, ATD, Regional Director at RED Middle East, joined the panel discussion moderated by Sanjay Kumar Sainani.
To lead the green energy transition, Amit Beriya, Director of Energy Storage & Hydrogen (BD Technical Services), ACWA Power, George Pechlivanoglou, CTO of Eunice, Ana Lia Rojas, President of EnerConnex Chile & President of the Chile Council for Women Leaders in Energy and Environment, CWEEL and Edson Uamusse, Strategic Planning Director & Chairman’s Advisor, Energy Fund of Mozambique, all shared their insights from the energy industry, moderated by Hariram Subramanian.
1300 MWH! HUAWEI WINS CONTRACT FOR WORLD’S LARGEST ENERGY STORAGE PROJECT
During the summit, which was held on October 16, Huawei Digital Power signed a key contract with SEPCOIII for the Red Sea Project with 400 MW PV plus 1300 MWh battery energy storage solution (BESS), which is currently the world’s largest energy storage project.
The two parties will cooperate to help Saudi Arabia build a global clean energy and green economy centre.
This 1300 MWh off-grid energy storage project
26 is the largest of its kind in the world and represents a milestone in the global energy storage industry.
Huawei officially launched the Smart String Energy Storage Solution for utility-scale PV power plants in June 2021.
Sitting on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast, the Red Sea project is one of the key projects as part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
ACWA Power-led consortium has been awarded a contract to design, build, operate and transfer The Red Sea Project’s sustainable utilities infrastructure.
The Red Sea Project has been listed in the
Saudi Vision 2030 as a key project. Its developer is ACWA Power, and the general contractor of EPC is SEPCOIII.
Located on the Red Sea coast, NEOM is also known as the city of the future, powered entirely by renewable energy.
It will lead a new way of life and drive new economic growth, as resources such as oil are increasingly depleted.
The recent contract means Huawei provides its flagship FusionSolar Smart PV + Storage solution for The Red Sea Project, including the 1300 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS), the power conversion system (PCS), and the communications and management system, in addition to solution design, power grid simulation, and related design consulting services.
The intermittent and fluctuating nature of solar and wind power makes energy storage essential for the safe and stable operation of renewable energy projects. So, to achieve 100% reliance on renewable energy, BESS is a crucial foundation to fulfil the ambitious goal for the Red Sea Project.
Chen Guoguang, Chief Operating Officer of Huawei Digital Power and President of Huawei Smart PV, said that the significance of this project as an industry benchmark is demonstrated in the following four aspects:
• It is the world’s largest energy storage project and the world’s largest off-grid energy storage project.
• It is a pioneer of the safe and stable operation of a PV and BESS-based power system.
• It ushers in an era of grid parity, with a much lower cost of power generation than that of traditional power generation systems.
• It helps solve the power supply issues currently impacting remote areas, and bridges power gaps all around the world. The solution can withstand extreme environments involving high temperatures, high humidity, and high salinity, all of which occur along the Red Sea coast, and can be applied to other remote areas with poor or no access to power grids.
The project also represents a breakthrough in Saudi Arabia’s search for new economic growth drivers as the country addresses its increasingly depleted oil resources, and it will spearhead a new lifestyle in Saudi Arabia based on its environmental protection commitments.
With more than 10 years of experience in researching and developing energy storage systems as well as more than 8 GWh energy storage system applications, Huawei Digital Power is committed to integrating the digital information technology with PV and energy storage technologies to build a more efficient, stable, and safe smart string energy storage system using the string, intelligent, and modular designs, aiming to help PV become the main energy source and build a green and bright future.
In terms of safety, cost-effectiveness, service response and reliability, market reputation, and brand influence, Huawei FusionSolar Smart PV + Storage solution was identified by the customer as the preferred choice and won the contract.
According to the contract, Huawei’s FusionSolar Smart PV + Storage solution will be delivered from June 2022, and the whole project is expected to be completed on March 2023.