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Cold winter could freeze data centre construction progress, warns temperature control expert

Cold winter could freeze data centre construction progress, warns temperature control expert

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Freezing temperatures in the Nordics region and parts of North America may cause serious issues for data centre construction already delayed by COVID-19, warns temporary temperature control specialists, Aggreko.

For the Nordics region, which will see temperatures of -15oC to -30oC over the winter months, cold weather-related obstacles for data centre construction and maintenance could result in vital facilities not being operational for the entire winter.

While operators and providers in the region may have planned construction phases, like excavation, to be carried out before the ground freezes, COVID-related delays may mean that such stages have been pushed back. It is at this point where data centre providers need to implement temporary heating to thaw the frozen ground for excavation to continue.

For facilities further on through the construction phase, rooms may need to be heated to a certain temperature for contractors carrying out installations to meet local legislation and aid safe and productive work. Providing temporary heat may also be vital to ensuring ambient conditions are kept stable, so installation of electrical and mechanical infrastructure conforms to manufacturers’ guidelines.

Precautions also need to be taken with on-site generation, through both permanent and temporary rental solutions. Operators must consider whether equipment has been winterised, the fuel lines and storage tanks are correctly insulated and understand when additional trace heating may be required.

To help contractors working against the dropping temperatures, Aggreko has a number of local specialists in temperature control who can deploy temporary equipment to counter the effects of the cold. By working with providers and operators to determine the exact equipment requirements of a facility, measures can be put in place before low temperatures halt progress.

Billy Durie, Global Sector Head – Data Centres at Aggreko, said: “As the winters become more extreme each year, we are seeing increasing amounts of requests for supplementary heating for data centres to allow vital construction to continue. Due to delays relating to COVID-19, we are already seeing delays face construction and, as temperatures plummet, heating systems must be quickly implemented to allow construction to continue and avoid further delays.

“Our global fleet of temperature control equipment can be deployed to the furthest and coldest reaches of the Nordics region to aid providers working against the freezing conditions. Before the region reaches the lowest temperature, we urge providers and operators to speak to our local specialists to determine plans for countering the cold,” said Durie.

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