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Modular Chillers Keep Data Center Cool

Herakles Data of Sacramento, Calif., offers uninterruptible power, cooling and redundant Internet bandwidth to its co-location customers seeking to outsource their primary or disaster recovery IT infrastructure.



Herakles Data of Sacramento, Calif., offers uninterruptible power, cooling and redundant Internet bandwidth to its co-location customers seeking to outsource their primary or disaster recovery IT infrastructure. The 52,500-square-foot data center operates near 100 percent capacity and rapid business growth meant it had outgrown its existing four air-cooled chillers.

Constrained by the strict energy requirements of Title 24, the data center couldn’t add a fifth chiller. In addition, besides delivering reliable and adequate cooling in ambient temperatures that reach 95 degrees F in the summer, the new cooling system had to be installed and operating as fast as possible, with minimal interruption.

The answer was six modular central plants, which are pre-engineered and pre-assembled from one supplier and then shipped to the jobsite for final assembly. Each of the modules consists of a 500-ton centrifugal compressor water chiller pre-engineered and pre-assembled with pumps, piping, cooling tower, control panel and associated water treatment system. The first four plants were installed within a week, resulting in zero downtime for the data center.

Cooling capacity needs were surpassed, increasing from N+1 to 2N cooling capacity. In addition, the central plants resulted in energy savings compared to the old system. The old system used 3,600 kWh/ton a day; the new system uses 2,800 kWh/ton a day.


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