A Star solution for a data centre’s cooling needs
Existing R22 refrigeration plant in a UK data centre has been replaced with a bespoke cooling system installed by Star Refrigeration using chillers with Turbocor compressors and R134a refrigerant. There are four new chillers, each with a cooling capacity of 1100 kW with variable-speed drives and an air-cooled refrigerant circuit configured for thermosyphon operation to provide free cooling when possible. The previous plant had a cooling capacity of 2700 kW.
Operating as a data centre since 1990, the building has two main data halls with independent power and cooling infrastructure. During 2011, IT and computer server systems in one of the halls were replaced as part of a major refurbishment. Higher air temperatures necessitated a new cooling system with higher capacity.
Alan Walkinshaw of Star Refrigeration explains, ‘Our banking client wanted a cooling solution with up-to-date technology, high efficiency and minimal environmental impact. The solution we adopted was an innovative design using Turbocor R134a compressors and an air-cooled refrigeration circuit. The system is configured to provide free cooling by automatically switching to thermosyphon operation for much longer periods than the previous system.’
Additional AHUs to deal with the increased heat load were mounted on the perimeter of the hall to maintain room air at a supply temperature of 22°C. A new exterior deck was built alongside the existing plant room to accommodate flat-bed air-cooled condensers with variable-speed C fans for low-noise operation and maximum efficiency.