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Data Centres and Energy



When it comes to keeping its cool, Custodian is well and truly ahead of the pack. With racks of hardware utilising vast scales of power, the immediate priority for a data centre is to control the climate in order to sufficiently cool the equipment within its care, and striking a balance between boasting the latest cooling technologies and adopting an eco-friendly approach to efficiency can be a struggle for colocation facilities.

At Custodian, former Green Data Centre of the Year at the Data Centre Leaders Awards, a revolutionary evaporative adiabatic cooling system is the answer. In fact, the eco-conscious brand is able to completely negate the need for mechanical cooling, providing a positive impact for both the company’s efficiency and the wider environment.

For 95% of the year, the data centre utilises fresh air cooling, brought in from outside and filtered to clean room standards to eliminate contamination, passing into the data centre via a bank of multiple fans. In the event that British temperatures soar beyond a set threshold, the evaporative adiabatic system comes online.

A reverse osmosis plant purifies water which the system then uses to produce a very fine mist. Within a large chamber, this moisture is used to raise the humidity of the slow moving air which passes through, decreasing its temperature. The adiabatic system also acts as a room humidifier, and is supported by dual water mains, ensuring that it is resilient against mains failure. This approach is 2N resilient, with completely separate duplicate systems protecting against failure should one element be affected by outage or technical difficulty.

Further adding to its green credentials, the heat produced as a by-product of the extraction system is recycled within the site of the Maidstone Television Studios, where Custodian is based. Situated in the county of Kent, known as the Garden of England, the data centre’s location does more than provide a picturesque view; this location offers a cleaner level of air quality, actually increasing the lifecycle of the filtration equipment used within this cooling method.

In addition to its environmentally friendly credentials, this cooling system still allows Custodian to operate within a Class A classification of cooling for high density computing, a premium ‘always on’ level at which uptime and equipment protection are paramount. An industry-leading solution, this fresh air cooling system was built in partnership with Carel, an advanced solution that for Custodian, outweighed even the benefits of a fresh air over wetted media system.

Of the choice, Custodian CEO Rowland Kinch says “Wetted media didn’t react quickly enough, I was convinced that adiabatic was the way to go. I’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it, but I didn’t want to take any risks in terms of quality.”

And for Custodian, adopting an eco-friendly approach to cooling doesn’t mean a compromise on performance. “Adiabatic proves that the green solution can also be the most resilient and most efficient option,” explains Head of Sales, Leonard Kay. He continues, “Our ideology is to reduce our impact on the environment in a way that also offers tangible benefits to customers.”

Sarah-Jane Adams is PR and Marketing Executive at Custodian Data Centres, an environmentally aware colocation facility that has previously been named Green Data Centre of the Year.

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