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ENVIRONMENT Dust is an insidious beast. Its official definition is ‘tiny particles of earth or waste matter lying on the ground, on surfaces, or in the air.’ Wherever it is found, it can cause untold damage to sensitive equipment, especially within a data centre.

But where do dust and other potentially damaging contaminants come from? How can their sources be identified? And how can the environment in which a data centre is built impact on the amount – and the type – of contaminants that are generated?

‘Dust’ and other equally damaging contaminants can emanate from various sources, the most obvious being dead skin or clothing deposits or, in the case of being situated close to the coast, salt from the sea air. But they can also stem from far less obvious sources.

In attempting to reduce the cost of cooling, for example, some data centres are inclined towards drawing in direct air form the outside


that needs to be filtered. Ironically, this often introduces chemicals into the cooling process, and this in turn can lead to contaminants such as calcium being created from evaporative cooling.

Some of the older units include a rubber belt as part of the drive mechanism, and over time this can shed material that can compromise an otherwise pristine clean room environment.

Data Centres that are built too close to the coast may suffer from salt contamination and corrosion. Buildings that are close to heavy industrial sites, or those with significant numbers of large vehicles, can be impacted by carbon and diesel emissions. And there is even one case recently where a client was being plagued by a mysterious ‘black dust’ whose source was finally traced to a nearby crematorium!

Uncovering and discovering sources of contamination is a challenge. It

for effective cleaning of compact areas that have been traditionally cleaned with manual methods.

The SC100 is easy to use, lift and

transport; it also offers a high cleaning performance at an attractive price. The machine is therefore ideal for small retail and hospitality outlets, schools, hotels and home use.

Nilfisk have launched the new SC100, the first small, upright scrubber dryer designed for effective cleaning in hard to reach areas.

The Nilfisk SC100 is a small upright scrubber dryer machine designed


The new machine can also be supplied with an optional kit for smaller carpets and spot cleaning. Machine operation is fast and comfortable due to its two-handed ergonomic handle. Cleaning under furniture and shelves is made easy by tilting the handle to an almost horizontal position.

Controlling the cleaning process is made simple by the touch display with two water settings and a solution indicator alerting the user

is not uncommon, for example, for a data centre to believe that the contamination comes from one source, to find – after testing – that the contamination stems from another unconsidered source.

Sometimes they are simply looking in the wrong place: contaminants that one might expect to be found in the air conditioning ducting, for example, may not be there, but not because the source of contamination is wrong, but rather that the contaminants have already dispersed.

So-called ‘unexplained contamination’ requires a better understanding of the environment, and intelligent analysis of the data presented. By taking away samples and testing them in an independent laboratory, the mystery of the ‘unexplained’ can invariably be explained, and the impact of contaminants properly measured.

when the solution tank is empty. For added convenience, the machine automatically stops when parked in an upright position

The SC100 offers 15 minutes of continuous scrubbing and drying on one tank. The cleaning performance is ensured by a 31cm cylindrical brush or microfibre roll, together with a 3 litre solution tank and a 4 litre recovery tank. The machine can be used in both directions as suction squeegees are located both before and after the brush. Superior water pick up leaves the area dry and available for use immediately.

Durability and cleaning efficiency are supported by a strong aluminum chassis, and the design provides for easy and fast daily maintenance.

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