Background and Challenge

A large social media company was looking to revise their current cooling and containment design with the goal of achieving a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.2. Some hurdles were encountered throughout the project with the customer being in a colocation space and having no control over fire suppression placement (sprinklers). Shrink away drop tiles were out of the question as annual testing was part of the maintenance requirements.

In order to meet the customer’s needs, Mirapath designed a fully closed containment solution to cool the aisles while maintaining the ability to allow for fire suppression and annual testing.

Mirapath was able to work together with the customer, colocation provider, and manufacturers to design a custom closed cooling solution that addressed all the customer’s needs.

The following requirements were met:

  • Complete containment that works with the pre-existing fire suppression system (sprinklers)
  • Ease of testing and repeatability – Customer is required to test the fire suppression system annually and reset the system quickly and easily
  • Ability to reproduce the solution throughout their various colocation spaces across the world

Scope of Work

Phase 1: Cooling and Containment Design

Mirapath was able to meet the customer’s needs and designed a custom, repeatable (annual testing) solution. The solution reached was a hinged top panel system that ties into the existing fire alarm. The hinged solution was more appealing to the customer than (shrink away) drop tiles due to the fact that they could easily reset the system by pushing the top panel back into the containment state after testing.

Each aisle varied in spacing, ranging from 4-10 feet of clearance throughout the colocation space. Our professional services and engineering team visited the site and took detailed measurements to design an accurate and efficient solution.

Phase 2: Installation

Mirapath’s Professional Services team was able to install the first phase of design (containment doors and panels) on a tight deadline of 2 weeks. Materials were ordered and custom configured to fit each aisle specifically. Custom paneling was installed to prevent air leakage in the sides and bottoms of the racks. Over 60 doors and 100 panels landed on time and were configured properly to fit the various aisle widths.

Results

“We noticed an immediate change in the hot and cold aisle delta” and We love the doors,” said the Critical Facilities Engineer. With just doors and panels installed, the return air temperature is already noticeably warmer – a sign of good containment.