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Schneider Electric's EcoBreeze units

Modular Cooling Solution Delivers Efficiency, Extra Space at Data Center

Jan. 7, 2014
The 10-MW facility, which officially opened in June 2013, eventually will feature a total of 16 EcoBreeze units mounted on the sides of building to allow maximum (and valuable) interior space.

A new colocation and cloud-services facility in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, is benefitting from Schneider Electric’s EcoBreeze modular indirect evaporative-cooling solution. The facility is operated by Cogeco Data Services, a leading ICT provider of data center, managed IT, cloud, and connectivity services to some of Canada’s largest companies and public-sector organizations.

The 10-MW facility, which officially opened in June 2013, eventually will feature a total of 16 EcoBreeze units as it expands.

“The EcoBreeze solution was the perfect fit for our new colocation facility because of its robust, redundant, modular design and its flexibility in offering several cooling options,” Jeff Edward, vice president of engineering and operations, Cogeco Data Services, said.  “At our Barrie facility, we plan to take advantage of free cooling as much as possible to reduce energy usage. EcoBreeze enables us to do this while also giving us the room to scale quickly and effectively as we continue to grow.”

This rendering shows a data-center application of Schneider Electric’s EcoBreeze units. The modular units can be mounted on the sides or roof of a building and added as demand increases.

“One of the challenges that we have within in the industry for building data centers today is not only striving for optimized energy efficiency with the cooling infrastructure, but also providing a platform for businesses such as Cogeco to be able to manage their cash flow as they populate and build these facilities out,” Joe Capes, business-development director, Cooling Line of Business, Americas, Schneider Electric, said. “We’re seeing an evolution toward more modular cooling systems and data center facility modules that allow Cogeco to have a ‘pay as you grow’ facility. They can put the required footprint or capacity of cooling units into the facility for day-one operations and then build the cooling infrastructure out as the IT load increases.”

Ehvert Mission Critical was the strategic partner selected by Cogeco to deliver the new data center. The limited space on the property presented the challenge of adapting the EcoBreeze system to a roof-based configuration. Ehvert undertook the detailed design and construction of a series of dedicated structural frames to support the systems above the existing building structure.

“The EcoBreeze’s modular architecture and ISO-shipping-frame-based construction allowed our team to design, fabricate, and place the units in a fraction of the time necessary for a custom site-assembled solution,” Vello Ehvert, president, Ehvert Mission Critical, said.

 Schneider Electric’s EcoBreeze units have the ability to automatically switch between two economizer options—air-to-air and indirect evaporative heat exchange—depending on the variability of outside ambient air temperature. This optimizes the total number of hours available for full or partial free cooling. The units are installed outside the data center, on the roof of the facility, taking up zero whitespace and enabling easy expansion and serviceability.

“One of the obvious benefits of putting cooling units outside the data center is that you’re not occupying a physical footprint in the whitespace,” Capes said. “It frees up a lot of additional space for revenue-generating purposes, which is very important to any colocation or data-center service provider.”

“Cogeco Data Services’ new Barrie data center is clearly a market leader in terms of using state-of-art technology to minimize environmental impact, providing maximum uptime and best serving the needs of its customers,” Daniel Peloquin, president, Canada Operations, Schneider Electric, said. “The EcoBreeze solution is an important part of this puzzle by allowing Cogeco Data Services to take advantage of a modular design for increased capacity and redundancy and, most importantly, helping Cogeco Data Services maximize energy efficiency.”

“I think this was a great example of a project where Schneider Electric’s data-center-service-provider team could bring together all the knowledge and capabilities of our solutions architects, our project-management team, our global supply-chain team, and our account managers and deliver an innovative solution. It has been a fantastic partnership and a great success for Cogeco, and we’re very proud of it.”