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South Yorkshire Police Authority’s New Corporate Data Centre has a “Hidden Secret”

24th, March 2017

South Yorkshire Police Authority invest in a new £1.5m 40 rack Shared Services Data Centre. The facility will initially house the services for both South Yorkshire and Humberside Police Authorities.

“Hidden Secret” - At first glance, even to a trained eye, the newly built shared services data centre appears to be based on a conventional design, cooled by three DencoHappel DMA092 Multi-Denco CRAC units located on the perimeter of the room. On further investigation, you will quickly find that this new facility has a “hidden secret”. Located discretely out of view is a 250kW capacity direct evaporative cooling installation cleverly positioned on a mezzanine deck and constructed directly above the data centre white space. The only visible clue to the existence of the Freecool® installation is a series of air grilles positioned in the data centre ceiling in both hot and cold aisles.

Thinking Outside the Box - Faced with limited external space the design team at Workspace Technology was challenged to deploy a 2N 250kW cooling arrangement for the Police Authority. The chosen building was a former gymnasium with double height ceilings. The conventional design approach with this type of space is to install composite panel systems in order to lower the ceiling. By reducing the white space volume, it will typically lower costs for the fire suppression installation.

Ignoring convention, Workspace Technology’s design team chose to install a mezzanine deck maximising the attributes of the high ceiling and associated high-level windows in order to create a dedicated “cooling” plant room situated directly above the white space. This innovative and unique Freecool® arrangement breaks the mould for contemporary data centre design. With an annualised PUE of sub 1.1, the installation offers South Yorkshire Police exceptional energy performance exceeding current industry expectations.

Freecool® - The primary cooling for SYP’s data centre is supplied via Freecool®, Workspace Technology’s industry leading direct evaporative free air-cooling technology. By replacing windows with grilles, it was possible to create air intake and exit air paths. The design cleverly allows cool air to be ducted via the mezzanine floor directly into the data centre cold aisles. Hot air is drawn out of the hot aisles by a series of fans into the upper level “hot chamber” where it either exits the building or is recirculated dependant on external ambient air temperature conditions.

Backup DX Cooling - The data centre cooling supports 2N levels of resilience for the Police Authority. Should there be a Freecool® system failure or if programmable environmental conditions are breached or a “fire” event occurs, the system will automatically switch-over to the standby DencoHappel DMA095 CRAC units designed to deliver in excess of 250kW of backup cooling.

This resilient cooling arrangement allows the data centre to continue to operate under a wide range of conditions. Whilst operating in DX mode the data centre still continues to deliver a credible energy performance with PUE levels around 1.28.

Schneider Electric - The electrical infrastructure includes Schneider Electric switchgear, fitted with PM5110 full function meters installed on all key power circuits. Schneider Electric’s Power Monitoring Expert system offers the Authority with a wide range of statistical and measurable information allowing the facilities and IT team to closely monitor the energy performance of the system.

Schneider Electric’s Netbotz environmental monitoring, Pelco security cameras and StruxureWare for Data Centres DCIM management software collects and manages the data centre’s assets, resource use and operation status for the Data Centre operations team.

Roy Griffiths Workspace Technology’s Technical Director commented, “Whilst the principles of the direct evaporative free air cooling are based on our extensive installation experience the innovative mezzanine plant room not only helps maximise available space, but it also hides the Freecool® technology from view. South Yorkshire Police will also benefit from industry’s leading PUE performance without any compromise to the data centre aesthetics.”

For more information on Workspace Technology’s Data Centre Design & Build and Freecool® cooling technology please contact or call 0121 354 4894.

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