Toronto data centre saves 100 million litres of water

Toronto’s new data centre has a cool name: the “Chiller Killer.”

It got this Batman-themed name because the system leverages Toronto’s cool temperatures for optimum efficiency and energy use.

The data centre was built by Blackiron Data in partnership with Emerson Network Power. The two selected and installed the technology at a new Toronto DC3 site, which is Canada’s first Tier III design and construction-certified data centre facility.

The data centre has already experienced 75 per cent of free cooling 75 per cent. Traditionally chilled water to cool buildings are unnecessary, but in this case Blackiron predicts it will save 100 million litres of water waste annually.

According to Ron Ethier, vice president of data centres and operations for Blackiron Data, the project had three objectives in building the data centre: make it environmentally friendly, attain third-party certifications and guarantee 100 per cent availability for our customers. The Liebert DSE from Emerson allows Blackiron to meet all three objectives. The system leverages Toronto’s cool temperatures for optimum efficiency and energy use without sacrificing performance or disrupting our availability guarantee for customers. Utilizing this new precision cooling technology was one of the key elements to the Toronto data centre successfully achieving Uptime Institute and LEED certifications.

The DC3 facility uses multiple 40-ton Liebert DSE cooling systems to regulate cooling in the 50,000-square-foot data centre, with power density at 15kW per rack. Each system features variable speed fans, staged evaporator coils, tandem Copeland Scroll Digital compressors and innovative pumped refrigerant economizers to ensure cooling, no matter the season.

With the environment in mind, an important element of the design and build of Toronto DC3 was to avoid the waste water often associated with water-cooled chillers. Blackiron, a whole-owned subsidiary of Primus Communications, used cooling technology that did not use water.

Liebert Econophase, a pumped refrigerant economizer, leverages cold outside air to cool the refrigerant used in the Liebert DSE system, reducing or eliminating compressor operation. This system provides cooling within the data centre without chiller plants and chilled water. During the summer, the Liebert DSE utilizes the most efficient variable capacity compressors for operation.

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