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Fire Protection

For years I have been a prolific photographer of Data Centres all over the world. I have hundreds of images, some brilliant, some out of focus and under-exposed, (I am a data centre guy, not  a professional photographer).  I thought that I might publish some of the better ones with a bit of narrative about […]

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Recently we have been writing a lot about how hot-aisle/cold aisle containment. It is important to be aware this strategy, fire detection and protection requires special attention. A recent article in Search Data Center gives some good advice: Hot-aisle/cold-aisle containment – a variation on the traditional data center best practice of hot-aisle/cold-aisle design – is a way […]

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Today we are going to look at how fire detection systems can be used in Data Centers to prevent catastrophic loss and damage; we will focus on Very Early Smoke Detection Systems, (VESDA – Very Early Smoke Detection Alarm). Without an efficient and safe environment, there is no way to be assured of business continuity. […]

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Today we are going to look at practical changes that we can all make to our data centres that will improve cooling efficiency, to enable us to install more equipment in the same space or reduce our electricity bills. There are a few basic rules that will help us become more efficient. The first is […]

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A neat photograph of a set of gas cylinders containing Inergen that are used as part of a data center fire suppression system. Recently I had an unplanned gas discharge at one of my data centers in the north of England. $140,000 of lost gas and a real pain. Lesson learnt is don’t allow trucks […]

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VESDA Air-sampling Smoke Detectors work by: Continually drawing air into a pipe network attached to a detector unit. Passing the air through a dual stage filter to remove dirt Sending the clean air to a laser detection chamber for smoke detection. Measuring the light scatter caused by any smoke Processing the detector signal and presenting […]

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I had two great questions from Hot Aisle readers following the latest article on Cold Aisle containment. Dan asked about the impact on fire suppression and Mark asked about where we got the transparent curtains. Lets start with the impact on fire systems of having either hot or cold aisle containment. The safety of personel […]

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The picture shows some Aspirating Smoke Detection Pipe located above an air handling unit. It is not unusual for unsupervised and inexperienced painters to paint over the pipe, blocking the microscopically small aspirating holes. These holes are used to suck samples of room air into a detection unit that can act as an early smoke […]

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A large open room with hundreds of Kilowatts or even Megawatts of electrical energy being consumed and a set of powerful fans blowing air in sounds like an ideal place to make a great fire! Detecting fire quickly and extinguishing it before it takes hold is a critically important feature of all data centers. Fire […]

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The thing about data centers is just how much power they use.  This one in Cardiff, Wales uses about 20MW of power and has huge strings of batteries storing power to drive the UPS units.  The batteries are kept in dedicated battery rooms that are air conditioned to keep the cells cool and maintain a […]

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