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£1.1m Data Centre Project as part of a £20m University of Bath Campus Scheme

24th, March 2016

In order to enhance the ability to deliver; an outstanding student experience, world-class research facilities, an inspiring working environment and cultural benefits for the wider community, the University has embarked on a three-year campus improvement project to provide new teaching space, student accommodation and space for arts.

Workspace Technology worked in partnership with Bouygues UK, the main building contractor, and the University of Bath to design and build a new data centre as part of the 4 East South scheme with a brief to create a facility capable of supporting the University's ICT services for the next 10 to 15 years.

Construction Experience & Expertise – This specialist data centre project formed part of a 12 month long construction programme. Workspace Technology’s credentials for working in construction environments were excellent with accreditations with a number of SSIP approved Health & Safety organisations including CHAS (Contractors’ Health and Safety Assessment Scheme), Safe Contractor and Constructionline.

General Design – The data centre was designed to support a total of 48 equipment racks each with an average power density of 6.25kW. Phase 1 included the installation of the initial 24 racks with the pre-planned expansion capacity for future growth. The data centre space was constructed from a modular 60 minute fire rated Firemaster composite panelling system forming the data centre and associated plant rooms. A heavy grade antistatic vinyl raised access floor was installed throughout.

Hybrid Cooling Technology In order to comply with the University's requirement to implement a sub 1.25 PUE Workspace Technology selected a combination of mechanical chillers and advanced Hybrid Adiabatic coolers. The Hybrid Adiabatic coolers are designed to ensure water savings by allowing the cooler to operate dry for the majority of the year, only when the ambient air temperature gets close to the set point will the adiabatic system operate. This can be as little as 1 or 2% of the year. The Hybrid Coolers are designed to ensure no spray or pooling the use of pads ensures adiabatic water is correctly distributed eliminating risk of bacteria. Excess water is also recirculated via a UV filter before being delivered back to the pads and adiabatic water is refreshed on a regular basis.

Initially a single 150kW Hybrid cooling unit was deployed on the roof top plant area alongside 2 x 150kW mechanical chillers providing a robust N+1 configuration at all times of the year.

U-Systems Rear Doors – ColdLogik Rear Coolers have been deployed to support internal data centre cooling for the University. ColdLogik Rear Coolers is a UK manufactured award winning data centre centric cooling solution. ColdLogik Rear Coolers replace the traditional approach to data centre cooling, allowing loads of up to 58 kW per cabinet with the added benefit of floor space savings compared with in row cooling or perimeter CRAC cooling designs.

The waste heat generated by active equipment within a cabinet is removed at source using chilled water cooling. ColdLogik Rear Coolers allow supply water temperatures to rise from the traditional 6ºC for CRAC systems to between 14 and 24ºC, reducing chiller size and energy costs. When combined with the Hybrid coolers the design maximises the availability of energy efficient ‘free cooling’, for the University of Bath data centre.

Leak Prevention System – Due to external plant been located on the roof 5 stories above the data centre there was a risk of water damage should there be a system leak. In order to eliminate this issue Workspace Technology deployed the patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) enabling the University's data centre chilled water pipework to operate under negative pressure. In the event of a leak or damage, water will not escape and the data centre will continue to operate uninterrupted until a scheduled repair can be carried out. The LPS is designed to operate with as little as 2°C between the primary cooling source and the secondary data centre cooling circuit temperatures helping ensure external free cooling potential is maintained.

Schneider Electric Technology – As the UK’s leading Schneider Electric Partner Workspace Technology designed and installed the complete Tier 3 electrical infrastructure, combined with the Symmetra PX250 modular UPS technology. As part of the overall monitoring & management strategy Workspace Technology implemented APC by Schneider Electric leading range of NetBotz premium security and environmental monitoring technology combined with StruxureWare Data Centre Expert a vendor neutral, scalable monitoring system which collects, organises, and distributes critical alerts, surveillance video and key information, providing a unified view of complex physical infrastructure environments from anywhere on the network.

Nick Roberts, Workspace Technology’s Education Business Development Manager, commented “The University of Bath is another great example of how Workspace Technology’s data centre solutions design team are able to work in partnership within the education sector in order to deliver innovation and efficiency in the data centre space.”

For more information on our Data Centre Solutions and Services please contact or call 0121 354 4894

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