EkkoSense, the data centre M&E Capacity Planning and Simulation specialist, has launched a major partner recruitment drive to help accelerate its expansion plans – both in the UK and internationally.
EkkoSense has identified the five data centre optimisation trends that it believes will make a real difference for organisations in 2019.
Hydro66, founded in 2014 is a pioneering, ultra-efficient, green-field colocation data center located in Boden, Northern Sweden. A key objective of the company was to design their new Nordic data centre to operate at a power usage effectiveness (PUE) – the ratio of total amount of energy used by a data centre to the energy delivered to computing equipment – of less than 1.05. This could only be achieved using fresh-air cooling (EcoCooling ECT10800 Nordic Cooling range) supported by the most efficient uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and power distribution.
Hydro66 decided to use a direct ventilation system supplemented by evaporative cooling (EcoCooling ECT10800 Nordic Cooling range). The equipment is modular and installed internally, thereby avoiding planning issues. Electronically commutated (EC) axial fans are used for air movement. With very low pressures, axials can also accommodate the larger flow rates and pressure, and their motors are efficient, quiet and have simple speed controls. The efficiency of a fan is approximately proportional to the cube of the speed. Data centres require redundancy of N+1, 2N or 2(N+1), so equipment is operated at part capacity.
By controlling all of the EC fans as a group – and reducing the air flow rate to that required by the IT equipment reductions in consumer fan power can be achieved, producing remarkable efficiencies. On average, 1MW of IT equipment will require an airflow of 90m³/s of air at compliant temperatures. Since the data centre has both redundancy and spare capacity, the ventilation rate is reduced and further savings are made. For example, running a fan at 80% reduces energy use by half and, at 50%, to 12.5%. An intelligent control system is used by Hydro66 constantly to optimise the fan energy use to reflect actual cooling requirements in a dynamic environment. On warmer days, the adiabatic cooling is enabled, bringing the supply air down to approach the wet-bulb temperature of the ambient air. In Boden, this means the supply air will never exceed 22C, which is compliant with all standards without the need to use additional mechanical refrigeration.
Hydro66 had a very clear vision on how we could bring a new model to colocation – one where the customer wins significantly on both cost and on sustainability. We were fortunate to discover EcoCooling who were able to exceed our expectations. Not only in terms of pure efficiency of their equipment, but more importantly their desire and capability to enhance their solutions to our specific use case.
ALEX CHIOLO, HYDRO66 OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
The use of adiabatic cooling will increase the moisture content, while reducing dry-bulb temperature, so increasing the relative humidity of the air. With reference to the ASHRAE 2011 Thermal Guidelines, high relative humidity (RH) will normally only cause corrosion with other contaminants in the air. If gases such as sulphur or chlorine are in the ambient air, these, plus high RH, can cause corrosion. Boden has ‘clean’ air because there are no local industries producing contaminants.
The combination of high RH and dust or particulates can also create problems, so all incoming and recirculating air is filtered. In relatively clean conditions such as those in Boden, EU4 is a suitable level of filtration. Increasing this can result in significant increases in capital cost, maintenance requirements and fan energy use. A direct fresh-air system
A direct fresh-air system operating in arctic conditions at the coldest time of the year can result in very low RH in the data centre. Low RH, in conjunction with other factors, can cause problems with electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can damage IT equipment. EcoCooling specially designed Nordic cooling system incorporates a recirculation loop, where – in low RH conditions – the warm air from the data centre is passed over the adiabatic pads to humidify the air above the ASHRAE 2011 Thermal Guidelines’ allowable level of 20%. This novel solution, therefore, uses the adiabatic pads for two functions – cooling in hot weather and humidification in cold weather conditions.
Hydro66 has constructed a low capital cost, flexible data centre, which has achieved a PUE of less than 1.05. The direct fresh-air Nordic cooling system complements the Download the data sheet for the ECT10800 internal evaporative cooler with humidification. More information on data centre cooling
Etix Blockchain, a division of Etix Group dedicated to provide colocation services for HPC and Blockchain applications and mining as a service capacity, specified a large number of EcoCooling ‘3 CloudCooler Group’ modules for their new facility in Iceland. EcoCooling were selected based on the success of their CloudCooler Range in other installations across the region, which has become a hotbed for data centre development mainly due to competitive power prices and cool climate.
With its ambient air conditions Iceland is an ideal location for data centers using the EcoCooling solution. A number of award winning data centre and cryptocurrency mining operators in the Nordics and Arctic circle have used EcoCooling solutions to achieve unparalleled cooling efficiency.
“Opening two large-scale Blockchain data centers in Iceland in a very short period of time, we had to call on a trustworthy partner with solid experience to support us in this challenge. We have been cooperating successfully with EcoCooling to provide our customers highly-efficient data centers.”
Antoine Gaury, Head of Etix Blockchain
“We are very excited to be providing the cooling equipment for Etix Blockchain in their new facility in Iceland. Our new CloudCooler Group (rack, cooling and containment) solution is a true plug and play mining infrastructure module. The simple design significantly increases speed of installation so operators like Etix Blockchain can scale up their facilities in an extremely cost effective and energy efficient way.”
- Alan Beresford, MD, EcoCooling
The ‘3 CloudCooler Group’ module has been developed off the back of these installations to be the most cost-effective option for rapid deployment developments in remote locations. The design complements Etix Blockchain’s scalable data centre design strategy while also maintaining world class cooling efficiency.
Each group installed contains 3 ECV CloudCoolers®, containment, power supply and racking. The ECV coolers provide 54,000m3hr of air directly to the miners while the Group design was chosen for its simplicity and scalability. The full solution including containment took just 2hrs to assemble from flat pack.
Estimated performance: The average energy use to support 5.2MW of computing load is estimated to be approximately 173kW as an annual average with a peak of 340kW. This represents a pPUE of 0.033 for the cooling system.
ECV CloudCoolers - Free Cooling Units
ECV CloudCoolers (free cooling) units can maintain a reliable operating environment for computing devices in Iceland due to the cold climate. The ambient temperature rarely exceeds the supply temperature required by the computers. This means filtered, external air can be used all year round to cool the facility, eliminating the need for a supplementary cooling system.
EcoCooling has extensive experience in terms of cooling blockchain systems, cryptocurrency miners as well as conventional IT equipment both in Arctic and temperate climates. Using fresh air ventilation systems, with or without adiabatic cooling, compliant conditions are maintained for ~40kW cooling energy per 1MW of installed miners. This minimises both operating costs as well as the cost of the power infrastructure to support the cooling system. www.ecocooling.co.uk
About Etix Blockchain
Etix Blockchain offers colocation services for HPC and Blockchain applications, and Mining as a Service capacity through a network of data centers located in the Nordics. Etix Blockchain benefits directly from the expertise developed by Etix Everywhere for the data centre industry and from the security products developed by Etix Labs. www.etixblockchain.com
About the CloudCooler Range
With the ability to withstand cold climates, the UK manufactured CloudCooler® products come fully equipped with exiting and innovative technologies, proving a perfect match for the many emerging and established European data centres looking to capitalise on the green energy available in the Nordics.
The CloudCooler® units provide a constant supply of filtered air at controlled temperatures. Filtration plus the avoidance of temperature fluctuations maximise the reliability of the computers and other IT equipment. Utilising these key areas provide a dependable platform to maintain the maximum availability of mining power.
EkkoSense (D1210), the UK-based data centre thermal software and services expert, has launched the world’s first Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled wireless thermal sensor. The new ultra-low cost sensor disrupts the traditional data centre sensor cost model, enabling it to be deployed in such vast numbers that true real-time thermal management of critical facilities such as data centres now becomes realistic.
EkkoSense - stand D1210 at Data Centre World 2018 - is to launch the world’s first Internet-of-Things (IoT) enabled wireless sensor to provide a local display of measured temperature and relative humidity values.
The EkkoSensor Wireless Display Sensor can show temperature profiles over the last hour, 24 hours or week for immediate on-site thermal assessment, and integrates with EkkoSoft Critical 3D software to provide real-time virtual reality visualisation.
Etix Labs, a new global data center innovation provider, today launches the most comprehensive suite of Data Center Infrastructure Monitoring (DCIM) tools in the industry, combining software, hardware, and services to provide data centers managers intelligent infrastructure monitoring, physical security and video surveillance management. Etix DCIM, Keynesia and Etix Video Management System provide a brand new experience to track everything and anything happening in mission critical infrastructures.
Proactive managed service contract signed for 5 of Daisy’s key UK data centre sites
– reduced risk, increased capacity, 19% energy savings
UK-based data centre thermal risk expert EkkoSense has released EkkoSoft Critical 3.2 – the latest version of its SaaS-enabled 3D thermal visualisation and monitoring software offering for managing critical data centre thermal risks.
Excel Networking Solutions is excited to announce that they will be hosting a series of Consultant Briefings across the country in February 2018.
The EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, has awarded a three-year innovation project in Northern Sweden. The aim is to prototype the most energy and cost-efficient datacenter in the world.
EcoCooling has walked away with a high commendation at the 13th annual RAC Cooling Industry Awards held in London.
Energy saving ultrasonic humidifiers installed at Manchester data centre
The DataSafe XE range is suitable for high temperature environments American energy storage specialist EnerSys has announced a new range of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries, designed to de ...
What do data centres require of their power delivery? The answer is easy: 100% power availability, 100% of the time. In other words, they want a system that never fails.
However, reliability is often considered the key attribute for any UPS solution. Yet, a system can be reliable over a period of time, but still fail on a particular occasion with far-reaching consequences. Therefore, availability must be the number one priority when purchasing any UPS solution.
Availability can be expressed by the following equation where MTBF equals Mean Time Before Failure and MTTR equals Mean Time To Repair:
Availability = MTBF
MTBF + MTTR
Availability is expressed as a percentage. The key number here is MTTR (if MTTR = 0 then Availability is always 100% regardless of MTBF).
In recent years, modular systems have introduced a significant step-change in the industry as, when properly configured, they are designed to maximise load availability and system efficiency simultaneously.
This is achieved because modular systems have a single frame, containing a number (N) of power modules. These run together and share the load equally between them. The advantage of this N+1 configuration is that if one module fails it becomes isolated. The remaining modules support the load and the system availability is preserved. UPS modules are paralleled vertically within a single frame, and frames can be further paralleled horizontally to provide a completely flexible system. There is no single point of failure, contributing to the highest level of availability for power protection. The load also remains protected even when any individual module is being replaced.
CENTIEL’s CumulusPower is the latest 4th generation of true modular UPS systems, incorporating Distributed Active Redundant Architecture (DARA), it provides a significant improvement over previous system designs. The critical power protection industry is, understandably, extremely riskaverse, and is particularly attentive regarding potential single points of failure. Therefore, each individual CumulusPower UPS module contains all the elements of a standalone UPS unit – rectifier, inverter, static switch, display – and critically – all control and monitoring circuitry. This eliminates the potential single point of failure associated with designs that have a separate, single static switch assembly, separate control or intelligence modules. Availability for the 4th generation Centiel system is now Nine 9s or 99.9999999%.
In addition, with all the focus on the UPS units themselves it can be forgotten that an integral element of a system is the associated batteries which provide power in the event of an electrical supply interruption or blackout. Equal consideration needs to be given to the design of the battery system, including rigorous battery autonomy calculations, selecting a quality supplier, the provision of redundant strings, individual string protection/isolation, ambient environment to name but a few.
With all the time, effort and expense of designing and installing the very best UPS system it is important that it is properly maintained to ensure availability is not compromised. Suppliers offer a variety of maintenance proposals and SLAs and diligence must be applied up front, in scrutinising and choosing the correct solution for each installations requirement. Any UPS that is not maintained properly may ultimately compromise overall system availability.
As well as availability, organizations need to consider the total cost of ownership of a UPS system and this is related to the purchase price, system efficiency (running costs) and the cost of maintenance.
I’ve touched on maintenance, so how a system is configured to maximize efficiency is another area demanding attention. The challenge is that IT requirements change quickly. So how can an infrastructure be built to meet these dramatically changing demands? Put simply, a UPS needs to operate on the best point of its efficiency curve. A system which is too small will be overloaded and a system which is too large will waste energy and be inefficient and costly to run. Scalability and flexibility are key when purchasing, to ensure the continual ‘right sizing’ of the UPS.
Modular systems offer all the advantages of high availability, scalability and flexibility to match an organization’s changing requirements. In addition, they offer the benefits of: fast replacement of modules, small footprint with high power density and, when correctly configured to ensure system “right sizing,” operating costs can be kept to a minimum.
In our ever-evolving world, future-proofing systems is one of the greatest challenges faced by system designers. The good news is that modern modular UPS systems can be quickly and easily reconfigured to adapt to changes in load requirements over time. This not only ensures the highest efficiency is maintained, but more importantly it guarantees availability of power protection whatever the future holds.
Article written by Mike Elms, Sales & Marketing Director, CENTIEL UK Ltd
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