Data Centre Cooling Innovation Of The Year
PLEASE SEE ATTACHED PDF WHICH CONTAINS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
2bm is ISO 14001 approved and accredited with the Green iiE award, the highest accolade for business efficiency.
We are also CEEDA certified designers, members of the Green Grid, the Data Centre Alliance and endorsers of the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres – which means each and every one of our designs will be beyond compliant when it comes to the latest data centre standards and practices.
2bm’s own data centre design ethos focuses on using proven technologies within our award-winning solutions, resulting in a low OpEx by reducing both mechanical and electrical power consumption.
As well as meeting a client’s key objectives for a resilient, reliable and high-quality facility for critical equipment, we also give consideration to ways in which to contribute to the sustainable development of the local environment, economy and community in which a facility is located.
BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT
Following Yorkshire Waters's discussions with their IT equipment manufacturers, centred around their hardware warranties for their planned equipment refresh, 2bm was initially commissioned to install an air quality monitoring solution that allowed Yorkshire Water to measure temperature and humidity, both inside and outside, of the main data centre.
2bm also installed highly sensitive anti-corrosion, particle and air pressure sensors, technology which allows Yorkshire Water to adopt ISO 14644-1 for data centre environments, helping to meet with the manufacturers’ own hardware warranty requirements.
As indicated in the DCA Data Centre Anti-Contamination Guide (2022 edition), which highlights all the anti-contaminants affecting IT equipment, Yorkshire Water is now able to monitor and manage their infrastructure air quality to ISO 14644-1:2015 with the aim to achieve Class 8 – the now expected level and best practice according to the EU Code of Conduct 3.2.12.
Following analysis of the air quality monitoring and the updated manufacturers’ requirements for hardware warranties, 2bm’s specialist technical services were engaged to design, install and test a replacement of the existing fresh air free cooling solution with a new, highly efficient cooling system.
In addition to utilising maximum free cooling and ensuring the air quality in the IT facility, there was a requirement to maintain a closed-loop sealed room environment.
2bm’s solution was designed to:
- Provide a highly resilient cooling system within a controlled environment;
- Deliver a low PUE via an indirect free-cooling compressor-free and refrigerant-free solution;
- Provide increased energy efficiency and equipment reliability;
- Support an IT load of 150 kW for the current day one requirement;
- Allow for modular expansion as the site load grows to the site design maximum of 330 kW IT loading (+100% increase on their current loading in line with CEEDA principals).
The cooling solution consists of a separate cooling water system utilising elevated water temperatures to provide maximum efficiency of the external heat rejection equipment together with increased free cooling through the use of adiabatic coolers.
Within the facility, specifically designed elevated water temperature downflow cooling units are provided to the perimeter of the data centre, where high-temperature coils and EC variable speed fans deliver efficient airflow and heat rejection.
By providing conditioned air to the floor void, it meant we could deliver cold air to the front of the racks and utilise hot and cold airflow separation, providing maximum efficiency of the cooling system design.
The rear of the racks is enclosed within a hot aisle containment system ducted to the room ceiling void and in turn back to the perimeter cooling units, resulting in a complete hot and cold air separation within a room's cold aisle topology. This allows the new cooling system to work alongside the existing down flow emergency standby mechanical cooling system for increased resiliency which is set to operate should the data centre supply temperature rise above their critical free cooling set point.
The internal downflow cooling units are arranged within an N+1 one configuration, connected to external compressor free cooling solution utilising adiabatic hybrid cooling units, providing N+1 redundancy, coupled to N+1 pumps expandable for the day two loading.
We also utilise stainless steel pipework to ensure the highest specification of water distribution and minimising maintenance and risk of corrosion over time and performance drop associated with this.
Using Uptime 20-year weather data, we have designed the cooling system so that during normal operation it will provide a cold aisle temperature of 24°C, allowing a 3°C temperature increase before the ASHRAE A1 recommended temperature is exceeded.
The free cooling system will maintain this operation for circa 98% of the year, leaving 2% of the year (non-concurrent) when the temperature will guild into the ASHRAE A1 allowable temperature ranges for short periods of time, with an upper limit of 30°C air temperature.
This means the data centre will be able to operate on the new cooling system 100% of the year without the need for any compressor-based cooling.
IN ANSWER TO YOUR FOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, we felt it appropriate to ask James Neill, Senior Data Centre Analyst for IT Operations at Yorkshire Water for his considered thoughts on the final project – James’ comments are highlighted in quote marks.
WHAT EXACTLY IS NOVEL ABOUT THE PRODUCT/PROCESS OR INNOVATION?
"The solution is a replacement from a direct fresh air system. This means that there are multiple vents and other areas of potential ingress which had to be closed. 2bm were able to fully seal and colour match the external cladding to an extremely high standard. More significantly, however, was the fact that it was only the primary cooling system that was replaced, while the backup system remained operational. This required the new solution to have an automatic changeover control apparatus created and integrated into both the new and old systems. This was all achieved and worked perfectly," commented James Neill.
The fact that Yorkshire Water is monitoring the ambient conditions outside versus the ambient conditions inside for anti-contaminants, means they can ensure there are no external contaminants interfering with the data centre environment.
HOW DOES THE PRODUCT OR PROCESS BREAK WITH CONVENTIONAL IDEAS OR PROCESSES IN ITS FIELD?
"This project was completed within our live critical facility, 2bm provided a solution and installation philosophy that allowed the equipment to be installed within the data centre with no risk or disruption to the site’s day-to-day operation or existing cooling infrastructure. This resulted in a seamless changeover between systems. 2bm also provided a resilient cooling control panel to allow the changeover between the two cooling systems as required within the room together with remote monitoring via our networks DCiM," commented James Neill.
The solution, which was designed with future expansion in mind, had to be delivered in an intensive live working environment with zero downtime to an aggressive schedule.
By incorporating a closed-circuit cooling solution, Yorkshire Water is now able to better maintain an optimum operating environment when compared to the existing system.
In line with the Data Centre Anti-Contamination Guide (2022 edition), which highlights all of the anti-contaminants affecting IT equipment, Yorkshire Water now monitors and manages their infrastructure air quality to ISO 14644-1:2015 in line with Class 8, the now expected level according to the EU Code of Conduct.
In addition, corrosion sensors were fitted, which provide constant surveillance of the environment and rapid detection of any deterioration that could result in damage to expensive equipment and valuable assets.
The system measures the corrosive attack on two replaceable thin-film sensors, with the corrosion rate transmitted that corresponds to the ISA standard S71.04-2013 classification of environments (G1 through GX) for copper and silver.
Early detection of humid, high temperatures or corrosive conditions will permit corrective action to be taken before substantial damage occurs to sensitive computer and instrumentation systems or electrical equipment.
By monitoring the air quality within the data centre, it has enabled them to improve their technical clean policy across the entire estate.
HOW DOES IT GO BEYOND MARGINAL IMPROVEMENTS ON SOMETHING THAT ALREADY EXISTS?
"It is the principle of resilience that Yorkshire Water wanted to bring to the installation. Every element of the mechanical cooling system is N+1; there are two coolers, two pumps, four CRAH units, in addition to the existing backup CRAC system. This means that the system will not only withstand multiple failures but also still provide cooling to the data centre," commented James Neill.
HOW DOES THE CUSTOMER BENEFIT FROM THE PRODUCT/PROCESS OR INNOVATION?
"In addition to the resilience discussed above, the new solution is extremely energy efficient, achieving a PUE of <1.25. This result exceeded our expectations, especially considering how resilient the solution is, something which was carefully considered by 2bm from the outset,” commented James Neill.
We also installed a series of new long-range wireless devices which make it easier to get environmental, air quality and energy data from anywhere and present it in a clear format so informed decisions can be made.
The environmental monitoring system includes the supply of precision wireless sensors, which allow continuous monitoring and analysis (for ISO 14644-1) including temperature, humidity, VOC’s, particulates PM 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, 4, 10 and filtering of airflow. The solution is fully scalable and can be easily expanded to accommodate further sensors.
Yorkshire Water enjoys energy savings of over £70,000 per year over the DX cooling 100% operation, therefore significantly reducing the payback period with an anticipated ROI for the project of 4 years together with saving 310 tonnes of carbon year on year.
Neil Roberts, 2bm’s Sales Director, provides a summary of the delivered project:
“Yorkshire Water has benefited in several ways, maintaining their lower operational running costs, embracing the benefits that come with using the very latest technology, and energy savings versus traditional DX solutions.
“By utilising a compressor-free design and working to ASHRAE guidelines for new and legacy equipment, means the organisation can apply for CEEDA accreditation – keeping it in line with Yorkshire Water’s wider environmental strategy and policies.
“The upgraded equipment was installed and configured to the existing data centre monitoring software, this allows the IT team to be alerted day or night in the event there are any issues within the facility.”