Data Centre Energy Efficiency Project of the Year
Green Mountain is one of Nordic’s biggest colocation providers. Their DC1-Stavanger data center is built deep in a mountain and runs 100% on hydropower and cooled by the water from the Fjord, providing a continuous temperature of eight degrees Celsius over the year. The former NATO ammunition storage facility is now an underground data center with 22 600 m2 (230000 ft2) space available and it is one of the world’s greenest data centers.
The company needed a new cooling system for its new data center project, the sustainability of the products and the supplier was a key factor in Green Mountain’s procurement. With extensive research, and after Green Mountain executives visiting two of the Vertiv Customer Experience Centers in Italy and seeing the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and cooling products in the witness testing laboratories, Green Mountain chose Vertiv cooling technologies. This included the Liebert PCW, chilled water floor-mount cooling perimeter units for a total installed cooling capacity of 5MW. Vertiv was also chosen as supplier of UPS for another project deployed in parallel, providing several Liebert EXL S1 1200kVA with lithium-ion battery backup.
When evaluating the other suppliers in the market, Green Mountain found Vertiv’s technologies were the most energy efficient they had seen and have a PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) that will further improve the overall efficiency of Green Mountain’s data center, which already has an extremely high rating. Another reason Green Mountain chose Vertiv and the Liebert PCW Chilled Water downflow unit and EXL S1 UPS solution because of their small footprint. With their data center being in a mountain, and every inch of floor space is money to a colocation operator, space is precious, and they didn’t have any extra room for these new units.
For the cooling units selection process, there was a strict requirement in terms of harmonic distortion. Harmonic contents cause a loss in power line and consequently higher power consumption and oversizing of electrical equipment. To minimize it, each Liebert PCW unit was equipped with fans with integrated PFC filters. The control logic has the possibility to manage the fan in ECO mode, which means that fans are kept at a minimum speed until the valve is modulating, this optimizes the cooling source. Only once the valve is at 100%, fan starts modulation.
Deploying these new solutions to a site as remote as DC1 is a logistical challenge at the best of times but doing this during the Covid-19 pandemic made things even trickier. Vertiv went above and beyond to meet Green Mountain’s needs and deliver on time. Also, thanks to Vertiv having a local team of engineers and project managers based in Norway, they were able to avoid travel restrictions and the local lockdowns and safely continue working on the installation throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Managing the project during COVID-19 was super difficult. We were afraid that all factories and deliveries would shut down,” Alexander de Flon Rønning Green Mountain’s design and product manager said. “Fortunately, Vertiv stepped up and helped, among other things, deliver equipment and the services related to it. If Vertiv hadn’t helped with deliveries, we could not have done the project.”
“For Green Mountain, the sustainability of the products and of the suppliers is a key factor when purchasing new equipment. Vertiv technologies are the most energy efficient I have seen, and this will further improve our overall sustainability which already has an extremely high rating,” commented de Flon Rønning. Moreover, Vertiv’s systems are extremely compact. “Given that our data centre is carved in a mountain, we don’t have any extra rooms,” said de Flon Rønning. “We couldn’t blast through more of the mountain to make more space for data centre equipment.”