Generator and UPS Power for Datacenter–Confidential Client

Project Profile: Generator and UPS Power for Datacenter–Confidential Client

Firm name: Optimation Technology Inc.

Project building name and location: Generator and UPS Power for Datacenter–Confidential Client, Rochester, N.Y.

Type of building and type of project: Data Center, Renovation

Project completion date and project duration: Summer 2011

Engineering challenges and solutions:

Industry standards have created a number of levels to identify datacenter reliability relating to power distribution. To attain a certain level of reliability for a datacenter, specific power distribution requirements must be met. For a client’s datacenter with a global reach, increasing reliability and distribution could have powerful benefits. Before working with Optimation, a client’s datacenter located in Rochester, NY, had limited backup power in the form of dual UPS systems.

However, these UPS systems didn’t provide redundant power and were different sizes; if one failed, there was no guarantee that the other could pick up the demand. The under-floor power distribution to the equipment was difficult to manage and the dual feeds to equipment didn’t always come from the differing UPS systems. In addition to the redundancy issues, the power system was vulnerable to the impact of a utility outage. If service from the client’s energy provider failed, the entire system would shut down. Because the datacenter served worldwide operations, this posed a big risk with an even bigger impact. Recognizing the risk, the client called on Optimation to provide design and build services to give the datacenter dependable power and improved power distribution.

Short Description on Project Approach:

Optimation provided design/building services for installation of a backup generator on the first floor of the client building. These services included engineering, design, material purchase, construction labor, and startup of the new generator. In addition to the generator, Optimation added UPS systems and improved the power distribution to the datacenters for more reliable power.

Detailed Description:

An Optimation electrical engineer/high voltage specialist led an engineering investigation to determine various alternative solutions to provide the datacenter with more reliable power. Optimation did a building code analysis and coordinated with the client’s insurance carrier for design requirements. After investigation and planning, Optimation determined that an 800kw generator should be installed in the building to provide the stability needed.

Optimation designed and constructed a generator room at the client’s site, working with limited access space and close tolerances for equipment installation. The generator room included a sprinkler system, provided by Optimation pipefitters; lighting, emergency lights and fire alarms, provided by Optimation’s E&I mechanics; and a generator combustion exhaust and air supply, provided by Optimation sheet metal fabricators. To create sufficient space for the generator exhaust ducts, sheet metal workers also rerouted the existing air exhaust systems.

In addition, Optimation planned to upgrade the unreliable UPS systems. E&I mechanics installed two new 275kva UPS units. Optimation also designed and constructed a new UPS room adjacent to the client’s existing UPS room. E&I mechanics reconnected existing datacenter HVAC water supply pumps to generator powered circuits, existing datacenter HVAC units to generator powered panels, and existing datacenter distribution circuits to the new UPS systems. These reconnections will provide redundant power distribution to the datacenter equipment, such as servers. With the upgrade, if one UPS system fails, the other will be able to pick up the load. Optimation also increased the UPS capacity to account for potential future expansion, and revamped under-floor power distribution, so that the redundant power to the datacenter servers would originate from different UPS systems.


Project was completed on time and under budget, due to Optimation’s Concept to Completion project approach, utilizing expertise from an array of disciplines. As a result of this project, the client’s datacenter increased its level of reliability and capacity to the client’s corporate computer servers performing critical applications.


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