Hi-tech data centre saves £200K per year

When it comes to data centre cooling, Aermec are the experts. Data centres are constantly under pressure to reduce energy costs, efficiently manage their heat loads and reduce their environmental impact. One of the City’s tech companies is reducing its energy bills by £200K per annum thanks to Aermec’s cooling solution.

Reliable cooling is a critical and an essential part of any data centre’s infrastructure but a well-designed cooling strategy can reap dividends and one of the company’s mission critical customers is taking advantage of super-efficient compressor technologies, that is helping to reduce their carbon footprint, has boosted EER ratings and enabled the annual energy bill to be reduced significantly so that over the next 10 years they can expect to save up to £2 million.

Based in London the carrier neutral co-location site offers tailored solutions from office space to suites with cages, rack cabinets, dedicated servers, virtual servers as well as the hosting of individual servers and had used their existing cooling system for over 20 years.

Following a detailed analysis, it became apparent that the chillers were not capable of delivering the energy efficiencies, they were unequal in size, making sequencing for N+1 resilience difficult to achieve. The criticality of the site also required fast re-start.

Simple enough but logistics and restricted access posed a number of significant problems and it became apparent that standard chillers would not be suitable nor would they deliver the required energy savings.

By working collaboratively, the customer and its partners developed a bespoke cooling strategy that would take advantage of advances in technology, improve the data centre’s overall efficiency and EER ratings, reduce emissions and offer an attractive ROI.

Legacy systems present their own unique challenges and require innovative solutions. The criticality of the site, logistical issues, redundancy and fast re-start requirements often require a customised approach which not all manufacturers can provide.

The solution comprised four equally sized 1.1MW chillers using the latest multi-Turbocor oil free compressor technology, and an off load and duty assist configuration would ensure the best possible energy savings.

The chillers were rigorously performance tested before being shipped to site and re-tested once in situ. The tests results were impressive and met the predicted EER ratings.

Each chiller achieved on average between 6.68 and 7.43 EER under normal use and savings calculated showed a £67K saving per annum on a single chiller and £200K per annum collectively during sequenced deployment at contracted cooling load, compared to the previous chillers. Based on these results, it is anticipated that customer will save up to £2million over the next 10 years.

A phased approach was adopted for the installation with one chiller installed at a time. The project presented a number of challenges. Working in a ‘live’ data centre meant that installation and commissioning had to be carried out sensitively so that the client’s customers were not impacted by the replacement. The existing chillers were sited in a basement plantroom, residing in the vaults.

De-commissioning and reducing the legacy units into small sections for removal was straightforward, but installing the replacement units required a creative approach. Aermec engineers ensured that not only were the customers’ exacting requirements addressed but designs were engineered to enable easy access.

To achieve a smooth replacement, right from the outset, engineers designed a bespoke chiller frame assembly, arranging the evaporator and condenser shells as a single component and to dimensions that enabled their transfer through the plantroom doors and below the installation pipework, leaving a 5mm tolerance. The new sections and frame were then passed through a space limited to a headroom of only 1435mm. The chillers were transported in component form and re-built on site.

The project took place over a 10-month period and to facilitate the replacement, cryogenics were used to freeze the pipework.

The project was challenging but the customer was able to realise a short term-ROI and a significant environmental benefit, resulting in a very satisfied client.

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Free cooling chillers save data centre £50k per month in energy costs

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