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Case study: modular cooling

APC recently installed an overhead modular cooling solution for a healthcare provider in the UK.

A UK healthcare trust, serving 500,000 people, was facing a major issue: its data center was running out of space and cooling capacity.

Infrastructure at the facility was aging and the organization was going through server and desktop virtualization, which required higher power densities.

Instead of upgrading the existing data center, PCT, the Primary HealthCare Trust in Leeds in the north of England, chose to build out a new room in one of its office buildings and asked five data center design and build consultancies for solutions. The site had limitations. It was in a historical building PCT did not own. The operator chose a design that incorporated a number of Schneider


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products, including cooling systems, power back-up and data center infrastructure management tools. The client chose not to use a raised floor to cool the new data center.

OVERHEAD COOLING WINS PCT chose a design by Advanced Power Technology (APT), which used Schneider Electric’s APC InRow OA overhead cooling units. The design was for a high-density data center with a contained hot aisle. The InRow OA cooling units are suspended over the hot aisle and provide up to 8kW of cooling capacity per rack. Containment of the hot aisle means the data center can be operated at high power densities in a more predictable manner.

There are eight equipment racks in the data center, protected by an 80kW APC Symmetra UPS (uninterruptible power supply). The choice to go with overhead cooling also

leaves more room on the data center floor for IT racks.

The solution included Schneider’s StruxureWare Central DCIM software to monitor the cooling system and all other equipment in the data center.

Both cooling and power protection are scalable, and the room could easily accommodate two more equipment cabinets if required. When the time comes, the UPS can be upgraded with additional power and battery modules and more cooling units can be added. Enough cabling and piping for such an expansion has been pre-installed.

Martin Powis, head of IT and telecoms at NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, said the new data center provided nearly twice the physical server space than the old one did on a data center floor of the same size. n

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