Eaton-Williams delivers 100% free cooling to data centre in Iceland

Eaton-Williams, air conditioning, data centre
This zero-carbon date centre of Verne Global in Iceland is cooled solely by circulating ambient air and using a customised solution from Eaton-Williams. (© Verne Global)

Free cooing using fresh air meets all the cooling requirements of a data centre in Iceland supplied by Colt. It is claimed to be the world’s first dual-sourced renewably powered data centre. The cooling system was designed and commissioned by Eaton-Williams working in partnership with Colt for a co-location data centre in Keflavik for the British-owned Verne Global and constructed using Colt’s established modular design.

Eaton-Williams designed the HVAC system for this Tier 3 data centre, which provide over 23 000 m2 of technical space.

Ambient temperatures at the site range from freezing to about 14°C, enabling cooling to be provided solely by circulating fresh air. In addition, electricity in Iceland is generated from hydro and geothermal sources. The site is far from any volcanic activity, with arctic breezes and the Gulf Stream pushing any volcanic effects towards western Europe.

The HEVAC systems maintain the temperature at 18 to 27°C with RH from 30 to 70%. Secondary cooling is via indirect free air with glycol heat exchanger. The HEVAC system contributes towards achieving a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.21.

The N+1 cooling system is based around 12 CTF cooling modules based on systems previously designed for Colt’s own modular data centre in north London (go on the MBS web site and search for ‘data centres that can be made to order’). The units were customised with primary cooling supplied by direct free cooling from outside air. Each unit has multiple variable-speed EC fans to match cooling demand, minimise energy use and provide N+1 resilience.

Jeff Muir, engineering manager with Eaton-Williams, said, ‘This highly customised and innovative solution was designed, tested and manufactured within 16 weeks to meet Verne Global’s operational schedule. By using only renewable green energy sources, Eaton-Williams has achieved considerable energy savings, enabling Verne Global to offer probably one of the most attractive power profiles of any data centre facility.’

The outcome is a zero-carbon data centre for Verne Global.

For more information on this story, click here: Oct 2012, 120
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