NGD expansion


STULZ creates the perfect climate at NGD

When Europe’s largest data centre, Next Generation Data (NGD), wanted to add significant capacity to the ground floor of its facility in Wales, it needed a cooling system that could offer effective and reliable operation. After assessing all the available options it chose a state-of-the-art climate control solution from STULZ.

The background

NGD is a purpose built carrier neutral Tier III colocation data centre offering 750,000ft2 of highly secure space that comprises independent services, resilient power and cooling systems. In early 2018, following a spate of new customer contracts worth in excess of £125m over five years, it announced the build out of an additional 100,000ft2 of capacity on its ground floor.

Phil Smith, NGD’s construction director, explains, ‘Our 16-week build-out programme allows us to lead from the front when it comes to meeting demand. Completing a project of such scale and complexity within just four months requires more than 500 construction workers to be permanently on-site. To keep things moving at the right pace, suppliers are required to adjust the design and build of their products in accordance with the schedule.’ 

 

The requirement

NGD boasts one of the lowest Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratings of any facility in the data centre sector and only uses technology that can optimise operational climate conditions, while minimising power consumption.

With cooling typically accounting for in excess of 40 per cent of a data centre’s total energy bill, the more that can be done to lower cooling expenditure the better – from cost, environmental and legislative perspectives. Having used its technology extensively within other areas of the data centre, when it came to specifying temperature management and plant cooling technology for the latest expansion NGD felt confident that STULZ could offer a suitable solution, as well as having the product design and logistical flexibility to meet all specifications and timescales.

 

The solution

NGD specified 114 STULZ GE Hybrid Systems with Indirect Free Cooling, which work alongside 26 high performance air blast coolers and pump sets from Transtherm Cooling Industries.

The GE Hybrid utilises outdoor air for free cooling in cooler months and switches to energy saving mode as soon as the outside temperature permits. The indoor unit has two cooling components – a direct expansion (DX) cooling coil and a free cooling coil. In warmer months, when the external ambient temperature is above 20°C, the system operates as a water cooled DX system and the refrigeration compressor rejects heat into the water via a plate heat exchange (PHX) condenser. The water is pumped to the Transtherm air blast cooler where it is cooled, and the heat rejected to air.

When in free cooling mode, dry cooler fans are allowed to run and cool the water to approximately 5°C above ambient temperature before it is pumped through the free cooling coil. Dependent on water temperature and/or heatload demands, the water can be used in ‘mixed mode’, where it is directed through both proportionally controlled valves, thus enabling proportional free cooling and water cooled DX cooling to work together. Crucially, 25 per cent ethylene glycol is added to water purely as antifreeze in order to prevent the dry cooler from freezing when the outdoor ambient temperature is below zero.

The benefits

The project required a reliable and creative supply chain solution, which could not only create the most efficient product packages, but also deliver products on a ‘just in time’ basis.

Mark Vojkovic, sales manager at STULZ, states, ‘It’s vital on projects of this size that manufacturing partners can see the bigger picture and adjust their own production parameters to suit. Specified for installation into the floor of the new campus expansion, we altered the manufacturing process of our GE Hybrid units to enable us to deliver the technology in two halves. First to be delivered were the fan bases, which were installed on to their stands during the earlier stages of the build – just in time for the construction of the suspended floor. Later in the build programme, we delivered the upper coil sections of the air conditioning units and Transtherm delivered, installed and commissioned its equipment on the outside of the building.’

 

The result

NGD’s 16-week build out timescales enable it to respond extremely quickly to global market opportunities. Therefore, it needs to work with trusted, reliable and dedicated supply chain partners, like STULZ, which combine engineering excellence and logistical capacity, and can deliver on time, every time.

 

Contact us

STULZ GmbH
Holsteiner Chaussee 283
22457 Hamburg 

Central Office: +49 40-5585-0
Fax: +49 40-5585-352

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