Data Centre Commissioning

Once your construction and testing is complete thorough data centre commissioning should be carried out. Many facilities are commissioned to the equipment manufacturers’ standard specifications and this can result in the data centre operating less efficiently than is possible. By examining the characteristics of the facility’s IT load the supporting infrastructure, in particular the cooling plant, can be configured specifically for this. Detailed and thorough data centre commissioning can make significant energy savings when implemented correctly by a Specialist Commissioning Team. We have produced savings of between 20% and 67% on numerous facilties running costs by using our data centre commissioning and ensuring their systems are running correctly.With some of our clients we re-commission their data centres cooling equipment every 3 months. This way we can keep the cooling equipment tightly configured to the actual IT load in the facility as it grows. We have also designed data centre cooling systems that are able to continually re-commission themselves automatically, as the IT loads within the data centre changes. This application is generally applied when the facility experiences large fluctuations in IT load.

 Data centre facilities that utilise this technology boast annualised PUEs of below 1.18 within true Tier II and III environments.Making sure you are getting the most out of your data centre infrastructure is vital. Utilising “lost” capacity and operating your equipment at its peak efficiency will save your organisation money on its energy bills, reduce its carbon footprint and in many instances will enable you to increase your IT load at minimal cost.

 Commissioning Methodology

Prior to the data centre being ready for testing we will assign a Data Centre Commissioning Team. When we have designed the facility this team will comprise of the original Design Team members plus Mechanical and Electrical Servicing Engineers. We use the same team as they are familiar with the design parameters and fully understand how the facility should operate.

If we did not design the data centre, we will assemble a Commissioning Team made up of a Lead Data Centre Design Consultant, an Electrical Design Engineer and a Mechanical Design Engineer. A request will be made to receive copies of the equipment specifications, system design and set points and testing documentation. The Commissioning Team will evaluate the information and then submit a document proposing the new system set points we wish to commission the systems to. After discussion with the incumbent maintenance contractor and equipment manufacturers, a Commissioning Plan and Method Statement will be created and submitted to all parties for further discussion and agreement.  Once the Plan has been finalised the site visit will be arranged.

During the site visit our Data Centre Commissioning Team will be in attendance accompanied by an engineer from the installation contractor and/or incumbent maintenance contractor. Engineers from the specific equipment manufacturers may also be requested to attend.  All conditions will be measured using calibrated test equipment to check that systems are operating correctly and that set-points, displays and metering are accurate.  Where appropriate simulations will be carried out and set points varied.  The new conditions will be measured to ascertain that improvements have been achieved.

Output

Once complete we will submit a Systems Configurations Document. This will describe the new system set points and behavioural characteristics. It will show the new system capacities and limitations together with recommended trigger points for system revision, such as increased IT load.

The new PUE will be provided and annualised savings shown. We will also provide training during the re-commissioning so your members of staff understand what has been changed and how the systems operate.

Energy Efficiency – Put it in Perspective

To give an example, a very small server room may have 10 cabinets in it, drawing 3kW per cabinet. Over a year these servers will use 262,800kWh of electricity. As these servers need to be supported by cooling equipment, UPS and other infrastructure the facility will use an additional 183,960kWh per year, if it has a PUE of 1.7. This gives a total of 446,760kWh of electricity.

To put this in to perspective the average household uses 5000kWh per year. This means one very small 10 cabinet server room uses the same amount of electricity as 89.3 houses.

Making efficiency improvements in data centres can have a big impact on a business.