How We Chose Power Equipment for Our Texas 2 Data Center

May 22, 2017 | Data Centers

For Data Foundry, choosing data center power and cooling equipment is not a matter of finding the best price, but finding the best equipment to protect IT systems and keep them up in running at all times – during maintenance, electrical outages and major storms. It is important that our power and cooling systems are concurrently maintainable. This means that if we take a piece of equipment offline for maintenance, and electrical power happens to be lost simultaneously, there is another piece of equipment lined up to take place of the backup without ever dropping the load, keeping systems online throughout the ordeal.

As equipment begins to arrive at our new Texas 2 data center, we’re discussing the selection of power equipment with Cameron Wynne, Executive Vice President of Operations & Development. To ensure our specifications are met, our operations team is involved in the facility’s design and equipment selection process. “We incorporate our data center operators into our rigorous design process to establish required operational features which helps filter the playing field down to initial vendors and manufacturers who are able to provide such critical features,” says Cameron. After a thorough assessment, the team chose the following power equipment.

Eaton – MV Transformers

We always choose liquid-filled transformers for our data centers, and for Texas 2, we chose Eaton’s medium-voltage transformers. Liquid-filled transformers are preferable because they prevent arc flash explosions. An arc flash results from an electrical breakdown of gas that produces an ongoing electrical discharge. When this electrical current moves through air, it produces a plasma that expands outward with incredible force. Arc flash temperatures can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why liquid-filled transformers are a necessary safety precaution for our data centers.

Eaton’s liquid-filled transformers use their trademarked Envirotemp™ FR3 fluid. This fluid is renewable and fully biodegradable, as opposed to the older mineral oil-based fluids. Envirotemp has a high fire-point and high overloadability. It’s also keeps moisture out of the insulating paper inside transformers. These moisture and thermal stress managing capabilities allow for extended insulation system life, which contribute to better overall system reliability by reducing the frequency of outages due to transformer failures.

ASCO – Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) Units

Our ATS units are critical to keeping systems running without interruption, and they are key to our concurrently maintainable power structure. We chose our ATS units from ASCO’s 7000 series due to their Closed Transition Transfer Switches (CTTS), which allow us to softly transfer a load onto the generators. A traditional ATS uses open transition, also called a break-before-make transfer. This quick transition causes a momentary interruption in power as the load is quickly dropped onto the generator.

ASCO ATS 7000 series soft-load ATSs are unique in that they allow for both types of transitions, open vs. closed, and they have the ability to softly load the generator, ultimately creating a smoother ramp up to engine performance. These ATS units allow us to sync our generators to the electric utility, resulting in a seamless load transfer between utility power and onsite generation with virtually no voltage or frequency transients for maximum efficiency. This means there are no outages or interruptions from maintenance procedures or after returning to utility power after an electric outage. Because there is no break in power, there is no break in the mechanical load. All chilled water pumps and CRAH fans continue to run seamlessly. This is a premium feature we insist on for all our purpose-built facilities.

Trystar – Generator Tap Box

The Generator Tap Box, also known as a generator docking station, also plays an important role in our concurrently maintainable power structure. It allows us to intercept the generator feed so that if a generator is out of service, we can effortlessly utilize a roll-up generator. With the tap box we are able to simultaneously load bank a permanent generator at full load while having a full-scale back up in place. This allows us to maintain N+1 generator power at all times and reduces MTTR or Mean Time to Repair.

Toshiba Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

For our UPS systems, we chose 750 kVA modules from the Toshiba G9000 series. Toshiba allows for an open architecture, providing us with the flexibility to connect other brands of equipment. It’s also the world’s first three-level circuit UPS, as opposed to the traditional two-level topology. This double conversion, three-level system is highly efficient and provides superior performance. Its efficiency is unmatched in the industry at 96.5% at full load, helping to reduce our carbon footprint. The Toshiba G9000 series is built to meet current and future demands in terms of energy efficiency and greenhouse emissions.

Learn more about our Texas 2 Data Center.