Guardian and IWFM event discusses the future of data centres

16th October 2019

On the 25th September we hosted an IWFM regional event discussing data centres and the important role new technology is having to improve sustainability and prevent downtime. Focusing on HVAC equipment, Steven Booth, MD for Guardian Water took to the stage alongside experts from the WCS Group and SPIE.

First to talk was Peter Westwood, Data Centre Director at SPIE. Peter provided an overview of the current and emerging data centre market, its requirements and the role of new technology and innovation.

He discussed the pace of change, including Edge computing and our growing need for energy, efficiency and connectivity. Peter concluded by describing the data centre of the future which will have more interaction with the grid and renewables, greater power variability, a mix of complex cooling architectures, and a greater number of hybrid sites – all done with less staff.

Next up was Tim Gaston, Engineering and Technical Director at WCS Group. Tim focused on the cost of cooling in data centres and water recycling’s crucial role in preventing wastage and saving money.

Highlighting the significant price of preventing overheating – 38% of cost of running a data centre is cooling – Tim went on to explain the importance of water. Every Gigabyte of outbound data has a water footprint of up to 250 litres; a startling statistic.

Tim discussed a range of ways in which water and chemical consumption can be reduced while improving performance and efficiency. This included reducing scale build-up; a problem that impacts energy transfer, water recycling; which can recover around 65% of the cooling bleed and RO feed purification to reduce water and chemical consumption.

Finally, Steven Booth, MD for Guardian Water explained the benefits of real-time water monitoring, using Hevasure’s industry-leading technology. Steven highlighted how this approach is shaking up the water system management sector by reducing our reliance on outdated methods, such as sampling.

By having a true picture of a water system at any given time, small issues can be dealt with immediately and the cause of problems can easily be identified. This is key for FMs who may historically have been blamed for issues that weren’t there fault. Hevasure’s monitoring tech can pin point exactly when conditions changed.

Importantly, Hevasure detects for dissolved oxygen, the pre-cursor to almost all forms of corrosion, in-fact 90% of system failures are due to aeration issues.

Overall, 24/7 monitoring offers savings across the board:

  • £80k to £120k over a ten-year period, by improving energy efficiency, extending equipment life, reducing water treatment costs and importantly, preventing catastrophic failure.
  • 40% reduction in sampling costs
  • £300k remediation costs (in one real example) by identifying that an issue was not the fault of the FM, even after handover
  • £20k + saved by trouble shooting, small issues can be resolved quickly, before they become more expensive and disruptive problems.

With the UK data centre market becoming such an important and growing part of the FM sector, the event was a useful and enlightening opportunity to find out more about the ways in which water system management in particular is evolving to meet the demand.

For more information, and to request presentations from the event, contact: jessica.lowe@magentaassociates.co.uk.

For more information about Guardian’s data centres services, click here.