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I love this photograph that I took last year (2007) at the British Telecommunications Rochdale Data Center. It shows such a simple and easy to implement Green initiative that costs chump change and can take 15% off your electricity bill overnight. My colleague and friend Ged McLean of BT is that man who pulled it all together as a technical proof of concept of how to retrofit a 20th Century Data Center with Green Technology.

In case you haven’t worked it out is a contained cold aisle. It prevents the cold air from the raised floor mixing with the hot air coming out of the back of the server cabinets. The clear plastic curtains above the racks combined with blanking plates inside the racks make this a practical outcome.


  • Dan

    When retro-fitting in this fashion what steps are required to ensure there is no interference with the existing fire suppression ?

  • Steve O’Donnell

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the question – it is really valid and important. First thing is that you must have sufficient gas discharge points inside the contained area if it is a cold aisle or outside the contained area if it is a hot aisle. This is because the gas will always follow the route of airflow – viz cold to hot. Usually it is relatively simple to move these to suit with minimal expense.

    Perhaps I will blog this in more detail in a few days. Would that be helpful?

    Hope that helps


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