Data centre emergency cooling | Aggreko UK

Contingency plan helps data centre keep its cool

Situation

A facilities management company that manages a portfolio of critical data centres was investigating ways to reduce the impact of an emergency power and cooling plant failure.  

They asked Aggreko to produce a contingency plan for each site, which could be called upon in the event of an emergency outage. 

When one of the plans was later called off, the importance of this pre-planning activity became apparent.

Aggreko's solution

Aggreko engineers worked closely with the facilities management company to carry out a survey of each site and undertake a comprehensive review of its critical power and temperature control requirements. 

We then devised a bespoke plan for each site that detailed the appropriate rental equipment, where it would be positioned (including connection points and installation details with photographs of laydown areas), transportation and logistics (including routes to site), engineering scope, methods of operation, risk assessments and method statements, and personnel responsibilities. This information was collated in detailed contingency plan packs – one for each critical location. 

The following summer, during a period of very hot weather, one of the data centres activated its contingency plan for much needed emergency cooling to support its chiller plant.

Following the call on a Friday evening, our customer contact centre put the contingency plan into action.  We delivered, installed and commissioned the equipment over the weekend to alleviate the crisis as quickly as possible. 

Our engineers installed 3 x 200 kW chillers, a 1 MW heat exchanger and 2 x 500 kVA generators – all supported with the relevant hoses, cables and fuel tanks. This set up plugged into the chiller plant to support it with supplementary cooling until the warm ambient temperatures eased.

Impact

With a contingency plan in place the data centre was able to call on us to rapidly install a relatively complex temperature control package, without any delays due to site surveys, system design or project management.

The contingency plan meant that all planning for the cooling package was already documented, including the equipment needed, the installation requirements, the logistics, the technical expertise and the finance.

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