Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 59 - Page 22

LATEST INTELLIGENCE

INTEGRATION OF POWER , ELECTRIC AND HVAC SYSTEMS FOR A GLOBAL-BRAND DATA CENTER

iINTRODUCTION

Most data centers operate with a 24X7 high availability mandate . Every effort must be taken to ensure against any system failing – from the servers ’ internal processors to the power and chilled water systems that keep servers running and cooled . There needs to be redundant backup systems for every contingency . The Whirlpool Corporate data center in Benton Harbor , Michigan , has been operating with near 100 % uptime , in part thanks to an integrated controls system with Niagara Framework ® at its core .
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CHALLENGE
Whirlpool ’ s Benton Harbor data center needs to deliver near 100 % uptime to keep the home appliance company ’ s manufacturing and marketing operations humming on four continents . Multiple boxcar-sized generators , transfer switches , substations , UPS and battery systems power the 12,000 square-foot facility . And to cool the space , there are multiple chillers and CRAC units . An adjacent building houses the data center ’ s HVAC controls . Over fifteen years ago , when Whirlpool first migrated from mainframe computers to this high-density server environment , the company conducted a single point-of-failure study . One finding was that
conventional approaches to managing primary power and cooling systems were insufficient for a data center . They would need to be more innovative to ensure on-time maintenance and to enable rapid emergency response . They would need to integrate all the primary power systems . Whirlpool looked to ControlNET , L . L . C ., an early Tridium partner and adopter of open-protocol integration for this project .
“ To do successful integration work for data centers and server rooms , with their mission-critical 24X7 availability requirements , your depth of knowledge must be wider and deeper than that of the average temperature controls contractor ,” comments Chris
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