Keysource has been shortlisted for an EI Award in the Energy Excellence category. Judged by a prestigious panel of Energy Institute members, the Energy Excellence Award is intended to give recognition to an outstanding achievement. The judges will be looking for evidence of fresh thinking and strategic and innovative problem solving.
The shortlisted entry is for Keysource’s approach to delivering high efficiency cooling solutions in multiple data centres across the UK. By utilising an innovative “room flood” approach to delivering the air within the data centre twinned with the latest controls and optimal heat rejection Keysource have been able to deliver some of the most efficient data centres operating in the UK. This includes the development of a chillerless indirect free cooling solution.
Finalists will be announced at the EI Awards ceremony, which will take place on 12 November 2015 at the Sheraton Park Lane, London.
Rob Elder, Director, Keysource said,
Data Centre Cooling is often an area which is looked at from purely a plant perspective but we recognize it is about how you design and operate the overall system which counts. Taking into account not just efficiency but operational performance capable of supporting mixed and high density we have delivered a range of different solutions with a common approach. It is great for the people who have been at the forefront of this within our business to be recognised by the Energy Institute.
Keysource, the data centre design specialist, has completed its role to deliver principal design consultancy to Teesside University for its challenging new data centre upgrade project.
Keysource’s design on this complex project, which recently received planning permission, will see the University’s data centre benefit from a new critical power generator. This will ensure it has an uninterruptable power supply as well as a highly resilient modular UPS which can be expanded in response to changing requirements. It also utilises an innovative fresh-air cooling system that will make full use of the low-ambient temperatures around the data centre.
The full scope of Keysource’s consultancy contract was to conduct an initial feasibility study identifying any issues and risks, and address them. Designs were then developed for critical power and air quality. Keysource also assisted with the planning submission and took responsibility for the procurement of contractors and suppliers, taking the role of CDM principal designer.
There were several major risks that needed to be ironed out in the design process due to the data centre’s location. The University is flanked by an estuary and in close proximity to the sea. This means that the atmosphere around the data centre could be potentially challenging for both the IT and M&E infrastructure, with corrosion being a risk needing to be factored into the design. In addition, as the data centre is in the heart of Middlesbrough where the surrounding area is host to a large number of industries, there is the usual threat from external contaminants.
Keysource had to take into account noise control and all modifications also had to meet strict planning requirements.
Andrew Maclaren, Assistant Director (Estates Services & Energy Procurement) at Teesside University said,
“We chose Keysource through the North East Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) framework. We wanted totally independent data centre design specialists with experience in both fresh air cooling as well as working within the education sector. Keysource has professionally met every requirement and we’re really pleased with their designs and guidance on sourcing the best solutions for our needs.”
Andy Hayes, Director at Keysource added,
“We have a number of Higher Education providers within our portfolio and are well versed in the challenges the sector faces particularly around the need for flexibility and the budgetary constraints. We were able to complete this project on time and on budget and our innovative design will ensure the data centre meets Teesside University’s IT requirements for many years to come.”
After hosting a round table event aimed at addressing some of the industry’s key topics, Keysource has created white papers that look in depth at two of the operational challenges facing the industry. ‘The Use of Fresh Air in the Data Centre’ and ‘Raising Inlet Temperatures in Data Centres’ papers highlight the impact of these challenges and the potential solutions that were discussed to help facilities and data centre managers make informed decisions and effectively manage their businesses. Joining us at the event were: the Uptime Institute, Operational Intelligence, Fujitsu Colt, Vocalink, Norland Managed Services and The 451 Group.
The Use of Fresh Air in the Data Centre
The first item on the agenda was the benefits of using direct fresh air vs traditional re-circulating cooling systems. Consensus was that there is very little to choose from between the two systems in terms of operational efficiency but across the industry there is a move towards chiller-less systems. The event highlighted that in some situations, companies were opting for the perceived environmentally friendly chiller-less systems without first fully evaluating the risk profile.
You can find out more and what the experts also had to say on CAPEX and resilience implications, maximum peak PUE or power demand by requesting the Keysource white paper; The Use of Fresh Air in the Data Centre.
Raising Inlet Temperatures in Data Centres
Looking again at data centre efficiency, this white paper highlights the potential benefits of raising the inlet temperatures to increase cooling efficiency. Testing by one of the experts at the round table has shown that temperature increases above the recommended 27o to 40odid not result in significant failures of any kind, but did increase energy efficiency because of the reduced running time of the coolers.
Whilst this may seem like an option that is not viable for most data centres it was agreed that increasing the inlet temperatures by just a couple of degrees would also have an impact on the operational efficiency of the data centre. Effective monitoring of the temperature and humidity of the centre would also allow for increased efficiency by regulating chiller use to only periods when it is required.
All attendees agreed that operators need to be fully informed before making a decision to increase inlet temperatures and that the proper elements need to be in place before making a decision.
For more information on this and other discussion points request the full Keysource white paper; Raising Inlet Temperatures in the Data Centre.
If you would like to discuss any of the points raised or would like to talk to a member of our expert team; call us on 0345 204 3333
Rob Elder, Director at Keysource, says: “The announcement by Verne Global that it will operate a data centre in Iceland with 100% renewable energy may well indicate the future direction for data centre cooling globally. Clearly the location of the data centre, just outside the Arctic Circle provides a huge advantage. Iceland is cool (in many ways), if not decidedly sub-zero, with temperatures all year round that will help with the natural cooling.
Keysource believes everyone can benefit from installing more energy efficient cooling. Often it is as simple as better data centre airflow management – after all air is a renewable, natural solution. However the real key is understanding what you have and measuring it. Most data centres have a PUE of around 2, meaning they waste 50% of all the energy invested in cooling.
Long term, 100% renewable data centre cooling must remain the industry target but short term everyone can benefit from our award winning ecofris cooling solution, reducing energy costs and, as a result, the impact on the environment. A PUE of sub 1.2 is achievable today.”
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS), the oil exploration surveyor, has appointed Keysource to expand its data centre at the head office in Weybridge, Surrey. The latest development will incorporate an innovative chiller free design, which will deliver 100 per cent indirect free cooling by taking advantage of the ambient outside temperatures. This will enable PGS to reduce capital and ongoing expenditure without compromising on availability or performance.
The data centre expansion is due for completion at the beginning of 2014 and will increase the capacity to 2.7MW of IT load, 50 per cent more than the original design. All cooling plant will be located externally to the building allowing PGS to maximise the internal rack footprint. This will include 188 rack positions, supporting up to 30kW per rack, to allow PGS to take advantage of high performance computing.
Mike Turff, Global Compute Resources Manager at Petroleum Geo-Services commented: “Keysource fully understands our business and operational needs, so has developed a second phase solution that will build on the success of the initial facility to deliver enhanced performance and meet our exact requirements. Their flexibility and energy to always look for improvement along with their ongoing management and support will enable us to effectively grow our IT operations in this data centre.”
Andy Hayes, Director of Keysource said: “Due to business growth and changing requirements PGS needed to support a higher facility IT capacity than the original phase 1 design, whilst achieving added improvements in efficiency and performance. The flexibility and scalability of our modular approach, using the award-winning ecofris cooling solution, means we have been able to develop a highly-innovative, chiller free design that will meet PGS’ precise needs moving forward.”
Opened in 2008, the initial phase of the PGS data centre was the first facility to use the ecofris cooling solution. It was designed for 600kW of IT from day one and scalable to 1.8MW, and has delivered an annualised PUE of 1.15 since becoming operational. The efficient design and ongoing optimisation has saved over six million kWh in annual power consumption when compared to the company’s previous data centre.