The 2 Megawatt Generator

December 22, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

After fielding a few questions about the generator last week, I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at the power house.

Empty, the fuel tank weighs 20,000 pounds. The tank can hold 3,000 gallons of fuel.

The fuel tank has a double hull. If the outer shell is damaged, no fuel will leak.


The generator itself is 60,000 pounds. Including the fuel tank, the generator is 13.2 feet tall, 28.7 feet long, and 10 feet wide. pc127213

The generator, the fuel tank, and 3,000 gallons of fuel weighs 101,000 pounds.

Inside the generator is a V16, 2682 horsepower engine. The engine has a 60 liter displacement. Each cylinder has a displacement of one gallon (or 3.785 liters). For comparison, my 2007 Nissan Maxima has a displacement of 0.583 liters per cylinder.

This engine is Tier 2 rated; therefore, it meets more stringent emissions requirements. pc197348

Here’s another view of the engine. This shot was taken from inside the generator. pc197364

At full capacity, the generator will run for 24 hours on one tank of fuel. If this generator were powering homes instead of the computer equipment at Data Cave, it could power 90 average sized homes for 24 hours.

The Data Cave facility has 2 of these generators that are available for backup power if needed. This means that in the event of a utility power outage, the entire data center can be powered for up to 48 hours, on the backup generators themselves.

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