Case Study

Enel X enables Microsoft datacenter batteries to support growth of renewables on the power grid, with EpiSensor technology

Enel_X logo

Enel X


Rome, Italy

End Customer




Key Products
Key Points of Interest
  • ~ 80ms reaction time for frequency detection (500ms to achieve full power output)
  • data recording at 20ms resolution for 30 seconds around the frequency event
  • dynamic frequency response
  • highly accurate time sync
Project Partners
  • Enel X
  • Eaton

Enel X are the world’s leading demand response provider with around 8.5 GW of flexible load deployed across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Demand response provides an opportunity for consumers to play a significant role in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods. Part of the Enel Group, Enel X provides next generation products and services aimed at the energy transformation in homes, cities and businesses, with a view to sustainable development.


Microsoft, a long-time participant in standard Irish grid services, recognised the opportunity to use a data centre’s batteries (typically used in case of emergency to support the data centre’s Uninterrupted Power Supply or UPS) to respond quickly, supporting the frequency of the electricity system in a cost-effective, sustainable way, reducing the need for building and running coal and natural gas power plants.

According to the Microsoft case study, Ehsan Nasr, a senior design researcher who works in Microsoft’s datacenter advanced development group explains: “The concept was to use the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which is providing continuous protection, change the controller on the UPS and provide services back to the grid,” 

John Byrne, head of operations for Enel X UK & Ireland, performs a system test on the grid-interactive UPS inside a Microsoft datacenter in Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Naoise Culhane.

John Byrne, head of operations for Enel X UK & Ireland, performs a system test on the grid-interactive UPS inside a Microsoft datacenter in Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Naoise Culhane.

Microsoft engaged their demand response partner, Enel X, to enable their participation in EirGrid’s market for DS3 grid services. Microsoft is the first known participant in Dynamic DS3, which prioritises the incorporation of more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar onto the grid system.


Eaton collaborated on the project to facilitate the integration of their EnergyAware UPS functionality to enable a bi-directional flow of power using the backup power reserves already embedded within the UPS. This Eaton technology has been in development since 2014 and is successfully deployed in Finland, Norway, Sweden, US and their own HQ in Ireland.

Due to the high megawatt load, and the accuracy and security requirements of a data centre, it was essential that Enel X and Microsoft relied on proven IoT Infrastructure technology, that provides enterprise-class security from sensor to server.

Our Contribution to the Project

The EpiSensor industrial IoT solution proved to be the best fit for this project. 

With the EpiSensor team’s support, Enel X made the most of the accuracy, scalability, security and ease of use of our technology. The EpiSensor infrastructure allowed Enel X to implement a dynamic frequency response solution where the reliance on the UPS rises and falls automatically in line with the grid frequency. This solution relies on highly accurate time synchronisation, made possible by our IoT infrastructure.

EpiSensor’s partnership has played an important role in our ability to win and deliver projects for customers of all sizes and industries around the world, including first-of-kind projects with big multinational brands in the most innovative markets.

John ByrneHead of Operations, Enel X UK & Ireland

Read more about this project here.

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