Technology & Data Centres
Black & White won the Electrical Project of the Year award with these data centres at the 2016 MEP Middle East Awards. Judges said the project was a clear winner and met almost all the elements they were looking for.
The data centre projects consisted of two almost identical double-storey buildings; one located in Masdar, Abu Dhabi and the other in Meydan, Dubai. Both data centres contained two existing 1000 m² PODs (white spaces) from a possible six PODs. Black & White was employed to complete the MEP design for the POD 3 extension whilst maintaining the live data centre.
The electrical distribution provides ‘N+1’ distributed redundancy. The project required careful negotiations and handholding with the UAE local authorities to obtain approval for data centre type allowances, which did not fully align with approval authority guidelines.
The data centres incorporate a CHW system that utilises temperatures of 20° C / 28° C. These elevated temperatures maximise the efficiency of the chillers during mechanical cooling mode and allows for extended periods of free cooling. The free cooling and mix mode cooling systems are significant factors in reducing energy consumption in tropical climates and are achieved via decoupling buffer vessels, closed circuit cooling towers, and dedicated free cooling pumps.
Pipe-Flo is a hydraulic modelling software that Black & White uses extensively in the data centre design field especially where resilient hydraulic looped networks are considered, and normal / failures scenarios need to be explored. Along with IES, Black & White is able to accurately model the building loads and system pressure drop, providing a full understanding of the hydraulics within the CHW system, which is invaluable during the commissioning stage.