Demand for Mobile, containerised Data Centres and secure power energy centres is increasing worldwide and in South Africa according to Master Power Technologies, the Randburg-based specialist in secure power back-up solutions. Wouter Vermeulen, business development manager of the Master Power container division, says these solutions can be easily deployed and expanded. Offering one stop engineering, high security and highly efficient solutions, they are pre-tested at the factory before shipping.
“Our capability to design, build and deliver to site a complete, fully tried and tested containerised secure power and/or data centre solution is attractive in that it amounts to a quick and clean ‘plug and play’ solution. Minimal construction is undertaken on site, no deliveries or storage of materials is required and there is a minimal workforce at site. In the case of data centres, all that the client needs to do when the container is delivered is to install his servers, switches and other such devices.”
If required, the equipment can also be installed in the data centre prior to the solution being sent to site.
Master Power focuses on two separate segments, namely Energy Centres and Data Centres. The Energy Centre usually contains UPS units, batteries, control panels, automation panels and distribution panels. Depending on the size of the installation one or more containers may be required to house all the equipment. Diesel Generators are housed in separate containers with sound proofing to meet customer needs.
Data Centres are designed to meet clients’ specific needs as there are many different factors affecting the design such as rack power-density and efficiency (PUE) requirements. Master Power’s focused involvement in power and cooling enables it to offer UPS units, diesel generator sets, automation and control panels, distribution panels, rectifiers, cooling systems, racks and rack distribution as part of a complete package. This means that the containers supplied, whether an Energy Centre or Data Centre, can be fully configured by Master Power in-house , leading to a very competitive solution that has been correctly engineered and tested.
Different types of containers are supplied. These include standard 6 metre or 12 metre ISO containers modified where necessary and suitable for smaller energy centres or data centres. However larger energy centres and data centres have different needs and Master Power also manufactures a single module container measuring 12 metres long, 4.5 metres wide and 3.6 metres high.
These purpose designed containers are flexible in that additional containers can be installed next to one another creating a large Data or Energy centre without vertical supports or walls between the modules. This flexible solution enables clients to purchase the ’space’ they need at the time without having to invest in power and buildings for anticipated needs of the future and without any abortive costs being incurred for the initial investment.
“It is really a very simple exercise to add additional modules as and when the client’s needs increase,” says Vermeulen. “Our aim is to be adaptable to assist our clients in their drive for flexibility, capital cost savings, operational cost savings and reliability without compromising our unmatched quality. We believe that our solutions add substantial benefit to our clients in achieving their demanding objectives.”
From a technical perspective, the containers are insulated on the inside walls, roof and floor with thick polyurethane foam layered between two sheets of chromadek. The end result is that heat and thermal bridges are eliminated, ensuring high insulation and constant temperature, a critical requirement to ensure that cooling efficiencies are achieved.
“The access door in these containerised installations is also important and is integral to the overall container design. It is fitted with magnetic locks and a push-bar to disable the magnetic locks in an emergency. Access is either biometric, via card reader or keypad, depending on client preference. A raised floor can be provided if required by the client or dictated by the design.”
The cooling equipment installed is sized according to the needs of the application, taking into account the redundancy rating, the type of equipment and the level of energy efficiency required.
Energy conservation measures include the installation of low energy consumption lights operated by motion sensors. Hence lighting comes on only in areas where a person is operating, and goes off when the person departs or moves to another area. Cooling containment is offered to optimise the efficiency.
Fire protection is an aspect that is client-driven. “We usually fit fire systems that are purpose designed for individual client requirements and the location environment,” says Vermeulen. “The systems detect fire and automatically release gas to drop oxygen levels to a point where combustion cannot be sustained.Mobile containerised solutions are a very viable alternative to normal brick and mortar buildings and provide significant advantages where a client is looking for quick deployment of a Data Centre or Energy Centre and where there is a need for flexibility regarding future expansion,” adds Vermeulen.