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Friday, 23 November 2012

The following IST datacenter blog is issued from the published article in the November 2012 addition of  World in Power magazine.

Prior to the Integrated System Testing phase of the comissioning of a datacentre, the suppliers of individual M+E equipment, such as gen-sets, UPS, HVAC Systems, may well have already completed specific commissioning on their own systems, explains Hillstone’s Paul Smethurst.

Integrated System Testing ( IST ) has become an essential part of the commissioning of datacentres. This final testing procedure brings together the operational running of the individual mechanical and electrical systems to prove the data hall will function to is original design and operating specification.

Prior to the IST, the suppliers of individual M+E equipment, such as gensets, UPS, and HVAC may well have already completed specific commissioning on their own systems.

Hillstone’s managing director, Paul Smethurst explains: “Our range of 19” rack-mounted loadbanks have been supplied to test both HVAC and the electrical power infrastructure. When the rack-mounted loadbanks are fitted into our 20KW Mini-Towers, data halls can be commissioned and even sold to clients prior to ‘fitting out’ of the racks.”

Server simulators or 19” rack-mounted loadbanks form an essential part of any IST procedure. These loadbanks are used to provide an evenly distributed load in the data hall. This live simulation is used to fully test the electrical infrastructure and the installed Heat - Ventilation - Air Conditioning system.

Simulating a mains failure is also recommended as part of the IST procedure.
This will verify the switching sequence performance of the electrical backup system to ensure the power is automatically transferred to UPS and generators.
It also ensures the power can be restored without interruption or failure.

Paul Smethurst explains: “Hillstone’s range includes specifically-designed server simulation rack-mounted loadbanks plus high- powered loadbanks for UPS, generator and battery testing.”

He said: “These loadbanks are also available in the UAE as part of our Middle East rental service. We have supplied server simulators to perform IST procedures on many occasions and have found both major and minor problems in data halls.”

Datacentre problems identified during the use of Hillstone loadbanks over the past four years include:

* Failure of CRAC units resulting in flooding in the data hall.
* Electrical wiring mistakes from PDU to racks.
* Electrical riser overheating due to bad cable connections.
* System design errors.
* HVAC installation faults resulting in pipe failures - a pipe in a hot area actually melted.
* UPS failures.
* Highlighting of inadequate power avail- ability to the datacentre.

Paul continues: “ This is the only time we see people happy when things are going wrong. Our equipment detects these kinds of key problems well before the client has to discover them.”

Hillstone’s business is doing well both in the UK and abroad.  

To date, the company has supported IST projects for customers such as:
  • Media City - Manchester UK (the new home of the BBC Television Centre),
  • Media City - Manchester
  • Sky News Arabia in Abu Dhabi,
  • Telecity London UK (one of the largest co-location providers in Europe),
  • Lynx Telecom in Poland,
  • Volkswagen HQ in Germany.

For further information please contact Paul Smethurst via:
UAE: Tel +971 (0) 4 255 9355   Mob 00971 503690433   Dubai loadbank sales
UK:   Tel +44(0) 161763 3100   Mob 00447774 752 858  UK Loadbank sales

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