MTN, the mobile network operator, has unveiled Africa’s first Concentrated Solar Power Cooling System that would power its data centres. Officials said this was in line with MTN’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
“MTN is acutely aware of the impact of global warming and its adverse impact on emerging markets including South Africa.
“We continuously explore ways in which we can not only reduce our carbon footprint, but it will substantially reduce our electricity consumption which will release additional capacity for the national grid,” Zunaid Bulbulia, MTN South Africa Chief Executive Officer.
REACH Renewable and AOS Consulting Engineers designed the system that was implemented jointly with Industrial Solar, Voltas Technologies and Luft Technik, and supported by the professional team comprising of ISF Services, Classen Auret, Project Works, DSM and Pentad.
It is driven by a cutting-edge technology called Linear Fresnel Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) that uses heat generated from the sun and has a peak cooling capacity of 330 kW.
The mirrors follow the movement of the sun, based on the GPS location, orientation and the date and time. T
his information guides the system to track the sun to concentrate on the central absorber tube where heat is generated.
“The absorption chillers use a lithium bromide water solution which uses water as the refrigerant. This is a completely green solution that has zero global warming potential (GWP=0) and no ozone depletion potential (ODP=0).
“When it rains, the mirrors move into a self-cleaning position, and on cloudy days, the mirrors turn down into a protective stow position,” Bulbulia said.