The Client –

4D Data Centres Ltd – Gatwick Data Centre Facility

The Challenge –

Cooling System Refresh And Capacity Increase

The Solution –

Eco-friendly Cooling Tower Design, Supply And Install

4D Data Centres is a UK-based colocation provider, providing ultra-fast connectivity, business-focussed cloud and cyber solutions to organisations around the world. Data centres are at the heart of nearly all internet-based technologies, including Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Amazon. Keeping all this technology online takes a lot of power, not only to run the computers themselves but also to keep them cool, otherwise they would quickly overheat.

When 4D took over an existing data centre building at Gatwick, Aqua was selected for its ability to upgrade the existing chiller-based cooling system, with installation and commissioning taking place whilst the facility was live. Working in direct partnership, Aqua designed and built an intelligent, energy efficient data centre cooling solution that significantly reduced the need for mechanical cooling and provided fresh air free cooling.

The project design focussed on a bespoke solution with energy efficiency, system resilience and reliability at its heart. It was critical that it was completely scalable, future proofing the client’s business model, allowing them to scale up to high density capacity at 40kW per rack when market demand required. Aqua’s ‘water tower’ system uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature of the computers in the data centre.

Evaporative cooling used in this way is very innovative in the UK but at its heart it’s the same process that we as humans use to cool ourselves down. When we get hot, we sweat and it’s this process of water evaporating off the skin which cools us down. Legacy chillers were replaced with a “chiller-less” solution, using a cooling tower alongside a packaged plant room and full water treatment facility. The design included pumps, heat exchangers, dosing equipment, filtration, inverters and remote monitoring.

Specially designed CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) units which operate on a 2°C difference between air and water temperatures, enable the system to run at higher temperatures. This eliminates the need for compressors – or mechanical cooling – allowing the chillers to be replaced with natural source cooling (cooling towers). This also reduces the number of moving parts within the design which increases system reliability.

In addition, using Carel’s CPco Platform, the system’s control strategy was engineered to minimise energy usage. The monitoring technology is aware of the minimal energy requirements for each piece of equipment within the system, ensuring it runs at the optimal needs of the data centre, with zero energy wastage. A bespoke square pipework system was designed with dual – or 2N – redundancy, so there is no single point of failure. If an issue should ever arise, it can be resolved without interruption or downtime in the data centre.

The full solution included:

  • Bespoke design service
  • Full installation and commissioning including turnkey pipework
  • Cooling towers
  • Packaged plant room/water treatment facilities
  • Pumps, heat exchangers, filtration, inverters and Carel CPco monitoring and control system
  • CRAC units

Project Engineers restricted the work carried out within the live facility to a minimum. For example, pipework was all pre-manufactured off site and then bought in for final assembly. Final commissioning had to be carefully phased, to avoid any unnecessary swings in supply temperature. The design of the Gatwick facility also caused some challenges. For example, the existing raised floor with cable trays in situ meant pipework had to be carefully routed and specially designed in areas as there were limited places to cross over.

Energy efficiency and subsequent cost savings were immediately evident, in the autumn months consuming significantly less than the previous system. The annual energy saving compared to the old system is forecast at 90%+, with an annualised part load Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125. For 4D’s business, they have a facility that they can now scale right up to high density capacity of 40kW per rack.

Benefits achieved included:

  • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125 (ratio of total facility power usage divided by
    IT equipment power usage)
  • 90%+ energy saving on legacy cooling system
  • Future-proofed, modular, scalable design – from low density to high density – as
    demand dictates
  • 2N redundancy – zero risk of downtime
  • Constant temperature, humidity and leak detection monitoring
  • Green installation – major statement of intent by 4D to reduce carbon footprint

“The single biggest challenge of the project was installing and commissioning within a live data centre environment. Aqua’s diligent planning ensured zero risk of client downtime and provided us with a fast, reliable, greentech solution with tangible energy savings”Steven Wright, COO, 4D

Aqua Group has been selected as a strategic partner to PVD Modular in a deal which will see at least seven off-the-grid data centres being built across Norway (three) and Finland (four) over the coming years.
Aqua will join the engineering team of teams designing the full heat transfer process of each facility. Each data centre will be minimum 250MW in capacity, will use a combination of alternative energy sources and offer thermal energy to local communities without constricting local grid power resources at industry leading efficiency ratings.

PVD Modular is parcel to two joint ventures appointed by The Silent Partner Group of Companies, a consortium of power and digital infrastructure businesses – Power Systems Group Norway AS (PSGN) and Asgard Development Group Norway AS (ADGN), both based in Fredrikstad, Norway.

“This is an incredible project to be involved with and is really ground breaking. The initial plans involve up to 1.5GW+ of initial power capacity and heat capture and easily has the potential to be one of the largest data centre portfolios in the world” comments Aqua Group’s Mike West.

“For Aqua it’s real recognition of our temperature control expertise and our application knowledge within the data centre arena.”

Each facility will be state-of-the-art, technically advanced and highly-efficient. Features will include the highest levels of emission control, carbon capture, CO2 reduction, and thermal energy reuse by both the data centre facility and the surrounding municipality and/or District heating/cooling systems as needed.

The Client –

University Of Stavanger – Norway

The Challenge –

Data Centre Cooling

The Solution –

Rear Door Technology with LPS

Aqua Cooling and their brand partners in Bedfordshire have linked up again to supply ground-breaking Data Centre Cooling technology to one of Norway’s top universities.

Aqua Cooling has delivered its multi-award winning state-of-the art Leak Prevention System (LPS) in conjunction with Bedford-based USystems’ Rear Door coolers to the prestigious University of Stavanger in a deal that consolidates the British firms’ links with the European higher education sector.

The LPS technology, which has won several industry prizes including a 2015 Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) and recognition by the Institute of Physics (IOP), was designed, developed and patented by Aqua. The Hampshire firm’s ground-breaking design complements USystems’ ColdLogik Rear Coolers, which themselves won a 2013 Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation); the top-flight Norwegian university’s new Data Centre Cooling system combines the benefits of both designs.

This unique composite all-British product offers customers a leak-free guarantee that is transforming data centre cooling applications worldwide. Offering the most energy-efficient low-to-high-density Data Centre Cooling solution currently available, the ColdLogik cooling system has itself attracted many industry and environmental accolades.

By employing the basic scientific principle that water under negative pressure cannot escape through a hole or breach in pipework, the LPS offers Data Centres the option of using water-based cooling systems without running the risk of coolant leakage damage to sensitive electronic data storage equipment.

Mike West, product manager at Aqua DCS (Data Centre Services), said: “The University of Stavanger was looking for an effective cooling system for its Data Centre, and our system’s leak-free guarantee was definitely a key selling point.”

“The Data Centre industry represents an enormous market opportunity for Aqua and USystems — supplying and installing our technology in Data Centres overseas is always exciting, and being involved in the higher education sector is very rewarding.”

The University of Stavanger is ranked as one of Norway’s top ten academic institutions. “Working with such a prestigious establishment has opened the door to an exciting new market in Norway that we hope to develop further in the future,” said Mike.

Aqua’s and USystems’ previous education sector Data Centre deals include cooling system installations at the University of Swansea in Wales and the University of Bath in Somerset.

The Client –

South Western Ambulance Service

The Challenge –

Data Centre Cooling

The Solution –

In-Row And Rear Door Technology With LPS

Aqua Cooling was called in to regulate the temperature at a Bristol Data Centre that is the beating heart of the south west of England’s medical emergency provision.

The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) provides ambulance services to the people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and the former Avon area encompassing the cities of Bath and Bristol.

This summer the group turned to Aqua engineers to provide and install a complete Data Centre Cooling system incorporating its patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) in order to ensure the safe and secure storage of its sensitive computerised patient records held at SWASFT’s Bristol headquarters.

Chris Aitken, Data Centre sales engineer at Aqua DCS (Data Centre Services), said: “The SWASFT team was aware of a Data Centre chiller system we had already installed at the University of Bath and realised that a similar, tailor-made solution would be a perfect fit for its own data storage facility in Bristol.”

Aqua’s cooling solution is crucial to the efficient running of the region’s emergency ambulance service — having encountered problems with its previous system, SWASFT was looking for an effective, fail-safe system that would also bring cost and energy savings.

“We’re extremely happy to be working with the South Western Ambulance Service, an organisation that does such excellent and vital work. This opportunity to help ensure that the trust’s operations run smoothly was very exciting — the Aqua team is proud to be a part of such an important service,” said Chris.

Aqua supplied SWASFT with two LPS units, rear door cooler technology and high-performance in-row coolers forming a hot aisle containment system, complete with all the mechanical pipework required for the installation.

Pipework installation began in August, and the system was completed in the autumn — it is now operational and running well. A second phase will see the introduction of a free cooler into the system to increase capacity and redundancy, thereby ensuring optimum energy-efficiency and reducing operating costs.

The Client –

Swansea University In Wales

The Challenge –

Data Centre Cooling For £450mil New Bay Campus

The Solution –

Hybrid Cooling System With LPS

Hampshire engineering firm Aqua Cooling has successfully installed its state-of-the-art hybrid cooling system for Swansea University in Wales as an integral part of its £450 million new Bay Campus development.

Combined with computer cabinet rear doors, Fareham-based Aqua Cooling’s hybrid adiabatic coolers feature the company’s Queen’s Award-winning guaranteed leak prevention technology (LPS) which allows the effective and worry-free use of a refrigerant-free water cooling system within the sensitive data centre cooling environment.

The hybrid system also represents a significant technological stride forward by providing an effective, cost-effective water-treatment free ambient cooling system that eliminates the emission of excess water spray and standing water. The minimal amount of water that is produced by the cooling process is treated by ultra violet filters incorporated into the system.

Swansea University is the first university to adopt Aqua Cooling’s eco-friendly energy efficient hybrid cooling system in its data centre, although Aqua’s installation project manager, Mike Lloyd-Hole, expects other academic institutions to follow suit.

Mike said: “It has been an incredibly rewarding project. New and returning Swansea students will benefit from this latest application of Aqua’s tried and tested cooling technology, and they can be sure our systems will effectively maintain their learning environments at a comfortable temperature.”

“We are thrilled that our installation will support the university’s drive towards energy efficiency as it increasingly opts for greener operating alternatives.”

“Working with this institution has been an extremely enjoyable experience. We hope this will prove to be the first of many installations in the educational sector as hybrid technology is perfect for use in this setting’” Mike added.

The hybrid adiabatic system is a cost-effective, chemical-free and leak-free cooling solution with an excellent HSE safety record that is designed to regulate temperatures in closed environments such as data centres. Aqua Cooling’s hybrid system in enhanced by the company’s LPS — revolutionary anti-leak technology that not only detects potential fissures in the system and prevents leaks until a more permanent solution can be implemented.

The Client –

Middle Eastern Finance Group

The Challenge –

Install A Data Centre Cooling System In A Hot Country

The Solution –

Rear Door Coolers

Specialist UK engineering firm Aqua Cooling has completed on its latest Middle East export deal by installing Data Centre Cooling systems in one of the world’s hottest countries.

Supplied to the Bahrain offices of a major Middle Eastern finance group, the job of the Hampshire company’s ColdLogik Rear Door Coolers will be to keep the bank’s computer room cool despite the region’s searing desert heat

The cooling system, which is equipped with Aqua Cooling’s Queen’s Award-winning leak prevention (LPS) technology, also has the capacity to use the local chiller water supply if the community’s distribution network fails in the face of summer air temperatures that can often soar above 50 degrees centigrade.

Designed to revolutionise traditional data centre cooling methods, ColdLogik heat exchangers are fitted as back doors to computer cabinets that cool the heat at source before passing the air back into the data centre at the correct temperature.

Mike West, Data Centre Cooling Products Manager at Aqua Cooling’s Fareham office, said: “It’s great to see our award-winning systems installed in such an exciting location, and an added bonus that they are capable of benefiting the local community as well as our new banking client.” he said.

“As Aqua Cooling’s latest export order to the Middle East, this is a ground breaking project. Our ColdLogik system is certainly efficient enough to deal with the Middle Eastern climate and offers significant size and operating cost advantages.”

“Hopefully the success of this installation will pave the way for further opportunities with other clients in the region and beyond,” added Mike.

This latest Aqua Cooling installation in Bahrain is designed to keep its banking client’s data centre cool and operating at an optimum room temperature of 24 degrees centigrade. Capable of chilling loads of up to 25kW (max) 10kW nominal per cabinet, the ColdLogik Rear Door Coolers are compact and efficient, effectively reducing the minimum size requirements of buildings that house them.

Cutting-edge UK data centre cooling firm Aqua Group travels to Europe next month to attend a data centre exhibition and conference in Germany.

Data Centre World Frankfurt, Germany’s largest annual sector-dedicated event, is expected to attract hundreds of corporate international suppliers and sector specialists to a variety of workshops and lectures taking place alongside a world-class exhibition.

Simon Davis, Sales Director at Aqua Group, said: “It is important for Aqua to have a presence at this major event and our team is very much looking forward to forging business relationships with new partners in the exciting German marketplace to help us build further international success.”

“The Frankfurt exhibition brings together data centre specialists from all over Germany under one roof so it’s a great way to meet the sector’s leading players from around the country — and from around Europe as a whole — and we’ll be taking our award winning data centre cooling products and patented LPS leak prevention system,” said Simon.

Well-known for providing technically-advanced, energy-efficient bespoke cooling systems for a variety of industry sectors, Aqua has a wealth of experience at home and abroad and is now looking to build on its solid success by offering its products in the German market.

“Germany is at the centre of modern Europe and I believe that Aqua has a great deal to offer the German data centre sector, indeed German industry as a whole,” added Simon.

“We can help German companies stay cool under pressure by providing leak-free cooling systems and, by doing so, take the worry out of storing the sensitive data that makes their businesses tick,” he said.

Data Centre World Frankfurt takes place at the Messe Frankfurt between 9.30am and 5pm on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 November 2015.

Our innovative cooling system uses the very latest data centre rear door heat exchanger technology to bring unprecedented levels of energy saving, flexibility, safety and reliability to a data centre set-up.

Heat is taken directly at source via a rear door heat exchanger which gives precision cooling to the entire rear face of the server cabinet and ensures there is no recirculation of hot air. The heat exchanger utilises water as it’s cooling medium (which is 3500 times more effective than air by volume) and results in an extremely energy efficient and reliable chilled rack environment. The water is chilled to 14ºC, compared to 6ºC with a standard CRAC unit, giving increased performance on the external chillers of 15%.

The Aqua Vac leak prevention system (patent pending, GB0819910.1) eliminates any danger of water leakage. The pipe work system works completely under negative pressure with air being continually sucked in. In addition, dew point control prevents any condensation forming on the back of the heat exchanger, even in the height of summer.

In summary, advantages include:

  • Considerable power reduction/energy saving – between 68-75% when compared to a typical CRAC unit. A substantial saving on overheads when you consider that a third of data centre running costs are commonly attributed to refrigeration/air conditioning.
  • Direct cooling at heat source.
  • Constant vacuum system – no risk of leakage, plus dew point control.
  • Versatility – easily expandable and workable with an existing system. For example, if you have installed newer, additional, more powerful servers to your data room you can add our rear door heat exchangers to individual cabinets to eliminate the increased heat load.
  • Fully compatible – can be retro fitted to any brand of server, you can change rack supplier but still utilise the same cooling equipment.
  • Requires no specific site plan and no additional floor space.
  • DX version available – works on refrigeration rather than water and uses a condenser rather than chiller system. This is ideal for situations where there is no option to site a chiller externally to a building, for example in central London or if landlord agreements prohibit.