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    The Big Data Institute Oxford


    Data Research


    Temporary Computer suite Cooling


    220kw Cooling 17,500m3/hr Air Volume

    The Challenge;

    To install a reliable temporary computer suite cooling system.

    This was a very interesting and sensitive project that required a careful approach and much planning.

    The Big Data Institute’s server room at Oxford University required critical works to the cooling system to be carried over a weekend. To facilitate this, the fixed cooling system was to be completely shut down.

    The Solution;

    ACR designed a full Nplus1 replacement system with power generation for the project. Focussing the design for 100% redundancy was important to ensure that the client was comfortable with the project going ahead.

    Due to the sensitivity and space restrictions in the work area a decision was made early to locate all the mechanical services externally. The major advantages being that chilled water pipework and cumbersome AHU’s were not internally fitted restricting access.

    Two overlapping stand alone systems were installed. Each system consisted of an ACR 160.120 AHU with a 120kw chiller for cooling. Both were specified to maintain the full cooling load- in this way, if any one system was to fail, full operation would be maintained by the other (nplus1 operation)

    Envisaging an element of free cooling due to the season, a full fresh air supply was utilised (no recirculated) with the chillers supplying additional cooling as required. The supply air temperature was maintained at 16 degrees.


    AHU's fitted at the big data institute, Oxford
    The 500mm flexible ducts entering the building.


    The supply air was delivered to the computer suite with 500mm flexible ducts which were moved as required by the engineers.


    Chilled air ductwork supplying a computer suite for temporary computer suite cooling

    The ductwork positioned in the room. Because of the limited space this was an the preferred option over installing AHU’s. Major advantages included, the flexibility to Re-positioning to allow access and that no water pipe-work was brought in- eliminating any risks from leaks.


    Overall this temporary computer suite cooling system proved to be a very effective and efficient. Reassuringly for the customer, the the design included fail safe options which meant that they were comfortable with the works proceeding.  Ultimately, they were very happy with the delivery and operation of the project which was very satisfying for the ACR team.

    Below is a quick walk around of the plant…

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