SITE completes NHS data centre cooling upgrade


25 April 2024

Secure I.T. Environments Ltd (SITE) has completed data centre cooling upgrades at Royal Devon University Healthcare, NHS Foundation Trust. 

The design and build specialist for modular, containerised and micro data centres says the changes will significantly reduce energy costs, achieving ROI in under three years.

The works, which are the latest in a series of projects SITE has conducted for the trust in recent years, replace existing cooling infrastructure with three new indoor units that improve efficiency. The free cooling solution, allows the data centre to operate in a higher temperature free cooling configuration for a greater proportion of the year, taking advantage of ambient temperatures and lowering running costs.  

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Each unit combines direct expansion air cooling and an energy efficient FreeCool circuit, as well as including built-in compressors for the direct expansion circuit. External Hybrid Heat Rejection (HHR) units were also fitted on site.  The new installation is projected to enable the data centre to achieve a PUE of 1.14, and Cooling PUE of 1.10

Chris Wellfair, Projects Director at SITE, said: “The primary source of operating expenditure for data centres is electricity.  Whilst maintaining the climate conditions within a data centre is critical, the ASHRAE TC9.9 2016 thermal guidelines now give confidence to operators that they can control the indoor temperature at higher levels.  This combined with the efficiencies gained with new equipment will dramatically lower energy costs at RDEF and achieve a return on investment in under three years.” 

The installation was conducted over three phases, ensuring the data centre could remain live supporting hospital and patient services.  SITE was responsible for the decommissioning of existing units, installation of new equipment, including electrical works, configuration and testing.