Optimum savings for data centre

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Published: 14 January 2019


Optimum Group Services has completed the installation of a bespoke Aermec chiller system for the Docklands data centre of technology company Telstra. The project is designed to halve the previous energy spend and save up to £200,000 a year.
 
Telstra had used its existing chiller system since moving to the site in 1999. The system was due for a five-year  refurbishment so Telstra approached its M&E provider, Optimum, to review the current chillers. After carrying out a detailed energy analysis it became clear that there were substantial energy savings and a favourable return on investment to be made by changing to new chillers. Telstra was impressed by the savings forecast and decided to move forward on a chiller replacement project.
Aermec designed four, equally sized 1.1MW chillers using multi Turbocor oil free compressor technology. The chillers were performance tested at Aermec’s advanced manufacturing facilities in Italy before being shipped to site and tested when installed.
 
The project took 10 months with one chiller installed at a time. Installation was challenging due to the chillers being located in a basement plantroom with limited access and no potential for improvement, ruling out the use of standard chillers.
 
Aermec's engineers designed a bespoke chiller frame assembly, arranging the evaporator and condenser shells as a single component and to a dimension that could transfer through the plantroom doors and below the installation pipework, leaving just a 5mm tolerance. The new sections and frame were passed through a space limited to a headroom of only 1435mm. The new chillers were then positioned and assembled when in place.
Andrew Orme, operations director, Optimum Group Services, said: “Working as a vendor partner to Telstra for over eight years we have built a fantastic working relationship as a result. Having serviced their chiller plant during this time it became clear that with the modern technologies in the market we could calculate and design both a short term ROI and a significant environmental benefit. The years of consultation, planning and a real teamwork approach in delivery have given us a result that we are all rightly proud of.”
Robert Crooks,  Telstra UK data centre manager, said: “This project has been extremely well managed by Optimum. The energy savings achieved are amazing and the new chillers run extremely quietly. By installing this energy efficient, resilient technology we can ensure a cool data centre for our customers.”
Paul Lawrence, managing director of Aermec UK, said: “This was a very challenging project and one where our engineers custom-designed a solution to meet exacting requirements that delivered measurable energy savings and a good ROI. Working with Optimum, an established facilities management company, also helped ensure that all parties collaborated and were aware of the site restrictions and enabled a complete engineering solution to be developed.”