In a world where governments, banks and hospitals rely on data technology, server halls must remain operational. Downtime is no option when continuous service is required for critical functions throughout our society. Therefore, data centers have to withstand water and fire, and save energy.
Before building a data center, it is important to make a proper site selection. During this process, you evaluate the risk of extreme weather and flooding. Historical data and predicted trends help you identify areas that are at risk of natural disasters, but remember that flooding can occur outside of a flood zone and under moderate rainfall periods, and that water table levels can become a concern.
Even if the electrical and electronic equipment is at ground level, it is often connected and powered via fiber optics and cables entering below ground. Underground distribution is, however, not free from threats. Ducts, vaults and trenches can fill with water and become a pathway for humidity.
Watertight from underground to the rooftop
Water and humidity can cause instant issues such as short circuits and partial discharge. Long-term effects can be insulation damage, corrosion and equipment failure. Instead of trying to solve water issues with silicone or foam after the damage is done, you should install mechanical sealing solutions that are purpose-built for underground ducts from the start. These seals are typically a compressed rubber solution that provides a watertight seal that will protect against a high level of water pressure for years to come. Sealing underground power and fiber ducts can be one of the most effective and cost-effective methods for protecting critical infrastructure from water and humidity.
You should also use efficient mechanical seals to optimize watertightness above ground. Install solutions based on compressed rubber in cable and pipe penetrations in exterior walls and rooftops where there is a high risk of water intrusion from heavy rainfall events.
Fire-proof and air-tight above ground
Make sure the solutions you use above ground are fire rated to provide certified protection. Check that the cable penetration seals you choose also prevent air leakage so you can save energy while securing operations. Installing an airtight sealing system enables sustainable use of air-conditioning and cooling systems. You can control the facility climate, eliminate risks and reduce your energy costs.
Explore Roxtec – a sealing solution provider that can help you protect data centers against multiple threats.
For more information, read sealing expert Jason Hood’s paper on water mitigation in data centers.
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Project Q data center, Mexico
When building the Project Q data center in Queretaro, owner representative Santander Global Facilities México faced this challenge: How to route multiple cables and pipes through a 45 cm thick perimeter wall and still maintain its integrity?