The demand for remote storage, processing and distribution of large amounts of computer data is increasing at pace. Data centres which make all this possible serve many sectors including governmental agencies, hospitals, universities, banks, insurance companies and telecom operators. These data centres must be operational at all times; however, Roxtec Ltd Market Manager Ronan Mills explains why there remains a constant challenge to manage fundamental risks.
Whether you are building your own cutting-edge data hall or designing carrier neutral tier 4 data centres for housing customers’ computers, you have to deal with a multitude of challenges. Interrupted service or lost data is not an option. Meanwhile, there is consistent pressure to handle increased server density, power needs and heat loads in a green and economical way.
Roxtec has strong experience in this field having provided cable and pipe sealing systems to more than ten new data centres across Britain and Europe in the past year alone. This has included work with multi-national software corporations, councils, banks, universities, medical companies and power services. More broadly Roxtec’s global clients within the telecom, data centre and construction sectors include Banco do Brasil, Bharti, China Mobile, Delta, Dow Chemical, Eltek, Ericsson, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Pfizer, proRZ, Reliance, Sprint Nextel, STMicroelectronics, Sul America, Tieto, Vodafone and Winnipeg International Airport.
Protection against multiple hazards
The demand for safety and fulfilled service agreements calls for more than a fire stop around cables and pipes passing through walls, raised floors and cabinet structures. Data centre managers require a robust and versatile solution which protects against multiple hazards including lightning, gas, fire, dust, flood, humidity, rodents, electro-magnetic disturbances and the risk of explosion. However, traditional sealants only tend to protect against one particular hazard. Roxtec seals are tested and approved according to various fire ratings. In addition to acting as a firestop, the seals offer environmental benefits because as airtight seals they prevent cool air from escaping data centres, thus reducing energy use and costs.There are both environmental and financial advantages with a complete gas-tight sealing system and you can easily control the facilities’ climate and temperature, eliminating risks for equipment.
Adaptable cable seals
Data centre projects vary greatly from brick build constructions to steel and prefabricated facilities. Roxtec’s experience in telecoms construction makes it ideally-placed for modern data rooms and modular data centres. Its products have been used on power and control system cables passing through underground building foundations, and on fibre-optic and transmission cables ranging from Category 5 to Category 7. They have further been used on cooling pipes of different sizes and materials, and on cables and pipes passing through interior and outer walls, substations, control rooms, control cabinets, cable ducts and fibre ducts. Roxtec seals can also be standardised for efficiency.Air-tight round or rectangular seals can be applied to single or multiple cables or pipes anywhere – in outer walls, between compartmentalized security zones and in control cabinets. They are adaptable to power, fibre, coax and signal cables as well as cooling pipes of different sizes and materials, reducing the need for drilling holes. It is important to understand that within data centres the cooling infrastructure may use more power than the IT equipment itself, and energy costs tend to exceed any other costs. Many green data centres around the globe use Roxtec seals to manage cooling and recycle excess heat.
CASE STUDY: Project Q Data Centre, Queretaro, Mexico
When building the Project Q Data Centre in Queretaro, Mexico, the owner representative Santander Global Facilities México faced a real challenge sealing cable and pipe penetrations. The project required multiple cables and pipes to be routed through a 45-centimetre thick wall while maintaining integrity. Construction coordinator DIINESA specified Roxtec cable entry solutions.
Due to the sensitive equipment within the data centre, the construction project required all perimeter walls to be completely watertight and weather resistant. The walls were also to be fire resistant and capable of keeping out rodents and insects. It was obvious that the traditional cable sealing method, which consisted of a portion of pipe cast into the wall with intumescent mastics, would not work. However, Roxtec’s seals are area efficient and easy to adapt to cables and pipes of different sizes. The installers from Lebanc handled cables ranging from 13mm to 34mm in diameter and pipes from 29mm to 305mm. The seals can be opened to provide spare capacity. Due to the high safety demands special concrete mixtures and last generation waterproofing were used to ensure the wall surface was impermeable. Naturally, the cable and pipe transits had to meet the same strict requirements. However, the huge perimeter wall was made of high strength concrete making it difficult to open a passage for additional installations in the future. That is why the goal was to leave transit preparations for easy upgrades. It was crucial tofind a way of holding together many pairs of sleeves with a sealing system at a distance of 45cm. DIINESA and Roxtec managed to solve the problem – with custom made steel structures that were cast between the sophisticated grillage foundation allowing only small tolerances between walls. The steel structures hold together seals and frames through a pair of sleeves connected with paper casting moulds.
There is a permanent need for expansion within the data centre industry. Modular and containerized data centres are built with future needs in mind regarding space, power supply, redundancy, data storage capacity and sustainability. This is why it’s important to use seals designed for scalable projects. Roxtec’s sealing system has been specially made to adapt, reconfigure and reseal – whenever customers or new regulations call for it. The seals make it easy to trace cables, and engineers can even install them around existing cables. Roxtec’s Multidiameter invention is based on sealing modules with removable layers. It works by peeling off layers to enable a perfect fit to any cable or pipe. This simplifies design, speeds up installation, minimizes logistics and reduces the need for keeping different items and components in stock. In all, it makes electrical installations easy and safe.
Roxtec’s knowledge has been acquired through many years of work in the field, enabling the firm to guide clients to a solution suiting specific needs. Extensive research and development resources, including a design department, an advanced fire test lab and a technical centre, also enable the firm to continuously drive product development. Roxtec Transit Designer further offers a free, web-based tool simplifying product selection according to needs and requirements and improves the entire process of designing, purchasing and installing cable and pipe transits. Whenever desired, Roxtec provides product installation training on site through sales staff and technicians. Furthermore, all sealing solutions are available through an extensive network of local suppliers. This means direct support and fast deliveries from local stocks in more than 80 markets.
For further information visit the website www.roxtec.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0161 761 5280. Visit www.roxtec.com
Roxtec was founded in Sweden in 1990. Today it is the global leader in the manufacture of innovative cable and pipe transit systems, supplying many of the world’s biggest firms. It is active in 80 markets.Roxtec’s products are designed to seal cables and pipes and are used to protect people, buildings and equipment from multiple hazards. Its key market sectors include Marine, Oil and Gas, Telecoms, Construction, Power (generation, distribution and transmission) OEM – (e.g. trains, engines, motors, generators) and the Process Industries. Roxtec has a Triple-A credit rating and is actively expanding into new areas offering innovative and safe sealing solutions to a variety of industries.