PRESS RELEASE Power Generation

Rolls-Royce secures power supply for largest supercomputer facility in the Middle East with mtu Kinetic PowerPacks

Posted on November 03, 2022

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  • Six mtu Kinetic PowerPacks installed for uninterrupted power supply of supercomputer facility of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s (KAUST)
  • First half of contract for customized emergency power supply completed

Rolls-Royce has successfully commissioned the first six mtu Kinetic PowerPacks to secure one of the world’s largest supercomputers located at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The fully customized, turnkey secure power system is equipped with dynamically rotating kinetic energy accumulators, providing the university’s Scientific Computing Data Center, which hosts the supercomputer with uninterruptible power. The successful commissioning of the first six units marks a significant project milestone towards the eventual commissioning of 12 total mtu Kinetic PowerPacks that have been delivered for KAUST’s Scientific Computing Data Center upgrade.

“The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks are state-of-the-art, uninterruptible electrical power systems that are designed for operating in extreme environments and provide the highest reliability of back-up power for the most critical and essential systems, such as healthcare facilities, airports, data centers and in our case, our future supercomputer Shaheen III, which will be the most powerful supercomputer in the Middle East and allow KAUST to greatly enhance its ability for scientific discovery and AI Innovation,” said Matthew Early, Vice President, Facilities for KAUST.  

“The work completed on this complex design-and-build order for KAUST has been extremely rewarding,” said Karim Hamzaoui, Operations Manager at the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems. “This was an opportunity for us to not only provide our world-class power generation products but also to showcase our ability to be a complete solution provider, taking on the full scope of all aspects of the project, from manufacturing and testing to delivery and installation, creating a customized solution from top to bottom.”The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks were manufactured and underwent successful factory acceptance testing in Liege, Belgium at the Rolls-Royce facility. The 12 units, along with medium-voltage switchgears, were then shipped for installation at the site. The team from Rolls-Royce managed the complete local scope including construction and electrical infrastructure to ensure the site would be ready on time.  

Each mtu Kinetic PowerPack has a power output of 1.6 megawatts, operates in medium voltage at 13.8kV, 60Hz and is powered by an mtu 16V 4000 G74S diesel engine. The systems are designed for humid ambient conditions and temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. With 12 total units delivered to KAUST, the PowerPacks are being installed in two groups of 6 systems each, with one available as a back-up in each group (5 + 1 redundancy). In the event of a power outage, the constantly rotating, robust kinetic energy accumulator will both guarantee the starting of the diesel engine and instantaneously secure the critical load.

“The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks securing our 16 MW Scientific Computing Data Center are not only highly efficient and robust, but also limit the Center’s carbon footprint by replacing the existing uninterruptible power supply system that is based on batteries,” said Mani John, Data Centers & Critical Facilities Manager, KAUST. “We are pleased to have a new solution that delivers reliable, uninterrupted power that also aligns with our sustainability goals.”

“The addition of the PowerPacks enhances the capability of the KAUST utilities system by achieving power conditioning in addition to delivering reliable power to critical computing loads,” added Hesham A. Alsulaimani, Director, Utilities Services for KAUST.

KAUST is a renowned high-tech seat of learning, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and one of the world's best supercomputing installations that is also the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The Shaheen supercomputer at KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory (KSL) is available to help KAUST users and projects, to provide training and advice, to develop and deploy applications, to provide consultation on best practices and to provide collaboration support as needed.  


About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030 (excluding product testing) and joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, affirming our ambition to play a fundamental role in enabling the sectors in which we operate achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 9,000 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids and is intensively engaged in the development of climate-neutral solutions.  
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £10.95 billion in 2021, underlying operating profit was £414m and we invested £1.18 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.  
  5. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE:RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69).



Jennifer Riley Spokeswoman North and Latin America
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