Data Centers

Data Centers June 1, 2009

Specifying generator control switchgear

View the full story, including all images and figures, in our monthly digital edition With daily advances in information technology and other processes and services, the world is becoming a more complicated and power-hungry place. Many industries and services have become increasingly more dependent on a continuous, uninterrupted supply of electric power. However, a continually shrinking electric generation margin reduces the reliability of utility-provided power. Consequently, the use of backup power control systems and generator control switchgear has grown and will continue to grow—in number, capacity, and complexity—in the coming years.

By John Meuleman, Russelectric Inc., Hingham, Mass.
Data Centers May 1, 2009

Commissioning mission critical systems

The 24/7/365 nature of a mission critical facility makes its commissioning (Cx) unique. With an abundance of redundant systems and a zero tolerance for downtime, a data center’s MEP infrastructure requires careful commissioning practice, which can be more expensive than commissioning less complex facilities. Because of this complexity, increasing scrutiny of budgets, and ever-tightening schedules, gaps in commissioning can occur that lead to larger, more expensive problems down the road. However, by defining commissioning roles early, integrating schedule coordination, completing peer review, and employing simulation and demonstration methodology, commissioning can be a cost-effective ally for delivering data centers on time and within budget. This article outlines some of the strategies that we have been successfully employing on data center and mission critical projects. Project scope From project to project, the commissioning scope involves verification and documentation, including factory witness, field acceptance, and integrated systems testing.

By Jim Vallort, LEED AP, CBCP; and Bob Weber, PE, Environmental Systems Design,
Data Centers January 8, 2009

Advisory Board

Consulting-Specifying Engineer is proud to present its 2009 Editorial Advisory Board.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff
Data Centers August 1, 2008

Critical look at power

This month's panel discusses what facilities need mission critical power and at what levels, successful design schemes, technological advancements, and commissioning for these facilities. CSE: The term “mission critical” applies to data centers, telecom centers, and healthcare facilities.

By Melissa Hillebrand, Associate Editor
Data Centers May 1, 2008

Data center fire suppression

The average 14,000-sq.-ft data center pushes a 2,400 kW load and 700 tons of heat daily. Generated by small blade servers and overcrowded racks, loads of this size burden the data center’s electrical circuits—which may not be properly grounded—causing equipment to overheat in areas without proper cooling.

By Sam Salwan, PE, Senior Associate, Environmental Systems Design Inc., Chicago
Data Centers June 1, 2007

Critical Facilities Consulting

One of the nation's major mission-critical design firms, New York City-based EYP MCF, reports that it is ushering in a new era of reliability with the formal establishment of Critical Facilities Consulting (CFC). Firm officials report that the impetus behind the launch of the CFC division is driven by significant changes taking place within the mission critical industry.

By Staff
Data Centers August 30, 2006

Webcast Archive

Click Here to View Upcoming Webcasts Critical Power University On-Demand Webcasts: Standby Power Systems for Hospitals: The Debate: Is Paralleling Generators a Good Idea? Original Air Date: May 14, 2009 The primary goal of an emergency power system for a hospital is the reliability of the power source of adequate capacity to serve the Priority 1, 2, and 3 loads. In the event of a failure of one of the generators, the priority 1 and 2 loads should be powered (as a minimum). There are two ways to achieve this reliability and capacity: A) Provide a paralleling, emergency system with N+1 generators such that the N generators will serve the entire load without exceeding 80% of their individual unit rating. Or, B) Provide a system of generators and transfer switches so that the each generator serves a dedicated load (that does not exceed 80% of any unit rating) and the load of any generator can be transferred to another generator or generators to maintain power reliability. For the paralleling system the pros are:Traditional system configuration, true N+1 configuration, and the cons are: higher cost, large space requirements, and single-point-failure mode in the paralleling cabinet. For the multiple generator system the pros are:Smaller footprint, reduced cost, no single point failure modes, and the cons are: the configuration requires that two transfer switches be placed in series at some point in the system. Which is the better approach? View the Webcast and judge for yourself. Arguing for paralleling generators is Tom Divine, PE, Project Manager and Electrical Engineer, Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR), Houston. Arguing against paralleling generators is Kenneth Lovorn, PE, President and Chief Engineer, Lovorn Engineering Associates, Pittsburgh. All CPU Webcasts are FREE and continuing education credits are available.

By Consulting-Specifying Engineer Staff
Data Centers June 1, 2003

More “Nines” Not Always Better

A mission critical facility (MCF) provides an environment where processes occur which are integral to an organization's viability. The MCF for a stock exchange includes its trading floor and related clearing houses. A bank's MCF may consist of a data center that processes billions of dollars of credit card transactions; the most critical portion of a hospital may be its operating and communicat...

By Raj Gupta, P.E., President, ESD Construction, Inc., Chicago