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Case Studies

Award-winning data centre delivers flexible, green solution for Trinity College Dublin

Award winning data centre that delivers an ultra-flexible, ultra-green physical infrastructure platform. This new facility will help support Trinity College Dublin for the next 15 – 20 years, delivering reliable uninterrupted IT services to its 20,000 students and staff.

Trinity College Dublin | Future-tech

THE BRIEF

Trinity College Dublin wanted the data centre to be built to Tier 3 specifications that would be designed to provide 99.999% uptime, flexible data cabinet densities from 0 to 25kW, world leading energy efficiency operations and with PUE under 1.2 at partial IT capacities.

The building was constructed in the 1950’s and was never intended to house a data centre, which caused several constraints. These ranged from energy efficiency, planning permission, space allocated for the data centre and the construction of the building itself.

 

CHALLENGES AND CONSTRAINTS

Trinity College Dublin Campus is ranked by Forbes as the sixth most beautiful in the world and is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions, therefore both visual and noise planning constraints apply. These strict regulations resulted in all external plant equipment being located on the roof of the Aras Phiarsaigh building, which resulted in the closure of one of the busiest roads in Ireland, Pearse Street. Like most Universities and Colleges space is at a premium so the data centre had to fit into the smallest foot print possible.

As the data centre needs to support the College for the next 15 – 20 years and budget restrictions were in place, lean provisioning for power and cooling was essential to this project rather than wasting space set aside for projected growth.

 

THE FUTURE-TECH SOLUTION

Future-tech proposed a cooling solution that uses active direct, back of cabinet heat exchangers connected to an elevated temperature chilled water circuit. This system monitors the IT load in each cabinet and continually adjusts the chilled water system to ensure maximum efficiency is maintained in real-time. By using high water temperatures the system can maximize the compressor free cooling window presented by the ambient weather conditions experienced in Dublin.

By combining this high efficiency cooling system with a robust and resilient electrical infrastructure the facility benefits from maximum uptime and minimum energy consumption. Future-tech and Trinity College Dublin are still working together to maintain the facility as it is felt that even greater levels of efficiency can be achieved.

Sustainability and carbon reduction sits at the heart of Trinity College Dublin’s future strategies and on completion the project became the winner of the Tech Excellence Award.

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IAN MCDONALD, TECHNICAL & INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES MANAGER, ST ANDREW’S UNIVERSITY

“Having a data centre we can rely on for all our critical services is vital to the University“