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Title:
A DATA CENTRE AND A METHOD OF CONSTRUCTING A DATA CENTRE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/134268
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a data centre. The data centre comprises at least one space divided into a multiple number of space sections containing ICT and/or telecom equipment. The data centre further comprises a multiple number of facilitating compartments, facilitating corresponding space sections. A compartment includes a cooling cell cooling the corresponding space section, and a power supply unit feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section. The invention also relates to a method of constructing a data centre.

Inventors:
WENZKOWSKI MARCO (NL)
VAN DIJK MARCEL (NL)
VAN ERKEL CORNELIS ARIE (NL)
SIPPEL FLORIAN PETER (DE)
KRAUPA INGO (DE)
Application Number:
NL2011/050213
Publication Date:
October 04, 2012
Filing Date:
March 30, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
UPTIME TECHNOLOGY B V (NL)
WENZKOWSKI MARCO (NL)
VAN DIJK MARCEL (NL)
VAN ERKEL CORNELIS ARIE (NL)
SIPPEL FLORIAN PETER (DE)
KRAUPA INGO (DE)
International Classes:
H05K7/20
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008143503A12008-11-27
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JANSEN, C., M. (Johan de Wittlaan 7, JR Den Haag, NL)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A data centre, comprising at least one space divided into a multiple number of space sections containing ICT and/or telecom equipment, further comprising a multiple number of facilitating compartments facilitating corresponding space sections, wherein a compartment includes a cooling cell cooling the corresponding space section, and a power supply unit feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section.

2. A data centre according to claim 1, wherein the power supply unit includes an emergency power supply device.

3. A data centre according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the facilitating compartment further comprises a container for housing the cooling cell, and the power supply unit.

4. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least one space section is housed in a building, and wherein at least one corresponding facilitating compartment is located outside the building.

5. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the multiple number of space sections is distributed over different levels.

6. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a particular space section is located on a particular level and wherein the corresponding facilitating compartment is located on an adjacent level.

7. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a particular facilitating compartment is located close to a corresponding space section.

8. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a group of space sections occupy a mainly elongated space extending in a longitudinal direction and wherein a facilitating compartment is arranged offset from the corresponding space section in a direction transverse to the longitudinal direction.

9. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a multiple number of space sections are arranged in a row extending in the longitudinal direction and wherein corresponding facilitating compartments are located at respective locations in another row extending in the longitudinal direction.

10. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, including a first row of space sections and a second row of space sections, both rows extending in the longitudinal direction, the data centre further including a first row of facilitating compartments located offset from the corresponding space sections in the first row of space sections, in a first offset direction transverse to the longitudinal direction, and including a second row of facilitating compartments located offset from the corresponding space sections in the second row of space sections, in a second offset direction opposite to the first offset direction.

11. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the emergency power supply unit comprises a power generator.

12. A data centre according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the cooling cell comprises an air-to-air heat exchanger.

13. A data centre according to claim 9, wherein the air-to-air heat exchanger comprises a heat wheel.

14. A method of constructing a data centre, comprising the steps of:

- dividing a space into a multiple number of space sections for containing ICT and/or telecom equipment therein; and

- providing a multiple number of facilitating compartments, facilitating corresponding space sections, wherein a compartment includes a cooling cell cooling the corresponding space section, and a power supply unit feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section.

15. A method according to claim 14, further comprising the step of changing the number of space sections.

16. A method according to claim 14 or 15, further comprising the step of redividing the space into more or less space sections.

17. A method according to claim 15 or 16, further comprising the step of adapting the multiple number of facilitating compartments in accordance with a changed number of space sections.

Description:
Title: A data centre and a method of constructing a data centre The invention relates to a data centre.

Data centres are generally known and usually comprise at least one space in which ICT and/or telecom equipment is arranged, such as computer, server or network equipment.

The ICT and/or telecom equipment is usually placed in system cabinets. The cabinets are often in the form of 19 inch rack cabinets or 23 inch rack cabinets, which both are standard racks to mount equipment. The cabinets are usually placed in rows, forming corridors or aisles between them.

Data centres typically occupy one space of a building, one or a multiple number of floors, or an entire building. Normally, a data centre is divided into two spaces; a first space for housing the ICT and/or telecom equipment, and a second space for housing the cooling equipment and the power supply equipment. The second space often occupies 60-70% of the floor area of the data centre, wherein the first space housing the actual ICT and/or telecom equipment can often occupy to the utmost only the remaining 30-40%. For a proper operation of the equipment, an optimum and stable temperature and air humidity in the space can be important. Besides, it can be important that the ICT and/or telecom equipment is continually fed by electric power.

When data centres are built, often about 70% of the total initial investment is intended for the realization of the electrical and mechanical installations, where roughly 20% of the total initial investment is spent on a building and 10% of the total initial investment covers remaining initial costs. These investments are usually made at the start before or during the construction of the data centre.

Especially in the case of a large data centre, the costs of providing cooling equipment and power supply equipment for the data centre can be very high, and can consequently account for a considerable part of the total constructing costs of the data centre. Moreover, providing a large wiring system and a large piping system can be very expensive and can therefore significantly increase the constructing costs and make the data centre complex.

An object of the invention is to provide a data centre which can obviate or reduce at least one of the above-mentioned disadvantages. It is in particular an object of the invention to use space in the data centre efficiently.

To that end, the invention provides a data centre, comprising at least one space divided into a multiple number of space sections containing ICT and/or telecom equipment, further comprising a multiple number of facilitating compartments, facilitating corresponding space sections, wherein a compartment includes a cooling cell cooling the corresponding space section, and a power supply unit feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section.

By providing facilitating compartments for the space sections containing ICT and/or telecom equipment only, installation of superfluous cooling equipment and power supply equipment for yet unused sections can be omitted, so that initially a data centre can be constructed in relatively cheap manner, using space in the data centre efficiently. This can yield a

considerable saving of the initial investment costs. If, e.g. half of the costs of the realization of the electrical and the mechanical installations are omitted, the data centre can be set of for about 65% of the usual initial investment costs. Moreover, depreciation and costs of maintenance are reduced, because initially there are fewer installations at hand.

In due course, at a later stage one or a multiple number of extra facilitating compartments can be easily added to the data centre, maintaining efficient use of space in the data centre while the data centre can remain in operation. Besides, one or a multiple number of the facilitating compartments, which may become redundant, can be removed, thereby further improving the efficiency of space in the data centre. As a consequence, a data centre is obtained that can efficiently be adapted to a varying demand of equipment to be facilitated.

In an advantageous embodiment, the power supply unit includes an emergency power supply device. This omits the need of providing a separate emergency power supply system, which system could otherwise raise the initial investments costs. Therefore, including the emergency power supply device in the power supply unit lowers the investments costs further.

Preferably, the facilitating compartment further comprises a container for housing the cooling cell, and the power supply unit. For example, it may be possible to provide a temporary mobile module, such as a mobile module.

By arranging the facilitating equipment in a container, transport of compartments can be executed easily, e.g. transport towards another data centre, which is in need of extra facilitating equipment.

In another advantageous embodiment, at least one space section is housed in a building, and at least one corresponding facilitating compartment is located outside the building. An advantage of such a layout is that the investment costs can be reduced even further. That is, initially a smaller building can be provided than is possible using a prior art construction method, since less or even no space is required inside the building for (at least one of) the initially provided facilitating compartments and/or for (at least one of) afterwards added facilitating compartments. Reducing the size of the building may also reduce the initial investment costs.

The invention also relates to a method of constructing a data centre. Other advantageous embodiments according to the invention are described in the following claims.

By way of example only, embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying figures in which:

Figure 1 shows a schematic top view of a prior art data centre; Figure 2 shows a schematic top view of a first embodiment of a data centre according to the invention;

Figure 3 shows a schematic top view of an embodiment of a facilitating compartment of the data centre according to the invention;

Figure 4 shows a schematic top view of a second embodiment of a data centre according to the invention;

Figure 5a shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a third embodiment of a data centre according to the invention;

Figure 5b shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a fourth embodiment of a data centre according to the invention;

Figure 6 shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a fifth embodiment of a data centre according to the invention; and

Figure 7 shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method of constructing a data centre according to the invention.

It is noted that the figures show merely a preferred embodiment according to the invention. In the figures, the same reference numbers refer to equal or corresponding parts.

Figure 1 shows a prior art data centre 201. The conventional data centre 201 may comprise a first space 202 with rows 203 of 19 inch rack cabinets 204 comprising ICT and/or telecom equipment. Further, the conventional data centre 201 may comprise a second space 205 housing cooling equipment 206 and power supply equipment 207. This second space 205 may cover about 65% of the total floor area of the conventional data centre 201. All of the cooling equipment 206 and the power supply equipment 207 are installed, and piping and wiring (which are for simplicity not shown in Fig. 1) are laid on, before the prior art data centre 201 comes into service. However, when the conventional data centre 201 comes into service, typically not all the cabinets 204 are housing ICT and/or telecom equipment, and usually the first space 202 does actually only comprise a fraction of the rows 203 of cabinets that it will comprise after some time. For example, in the beginning the first space 202 may comprise five of the shown fifteen rows 203.

Figure 2 shows a schematic top view of a first embodiment of a data centre 1 according to the invention. The data centre 1 comprises at least one space 2 divided into a multiple number of space sections 3a- 3d containing ICT and/or telecom equipment. The data centre 1 further comprises a multiple number of facilitating compartments 4a-4d, facilitating corresponding space sections 3a-3d.

For the purpose of air recirculation and cooling, the space 2 may be provided with a raised floor. The ICT and/or telecom equipment comprises for instance computer, network and/or server equipment and is preferably arranged in system cabinets 7. For example, the cabinets may be standard 19 inch rack cabinets or standard 23 inch rack cabinets, for mounting equipment. The cabinets may be placed in cabinet rows 8, forming corridors or aisles 9 between them.

Figure 3 shows a schematic top view of an embodiment of a facilitating compartment of the data centre according to the invention, e.g. of the data centre 1 of Fig. 2. The compartment 4 includes a cooling cell 5 cooling the corresponding space section 3, and a power supply unit 6 feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section 3. The power supply unit 6 can further be arranged for feeding other units, such as the cooling cell 5. Similarly, the cooling cell 5 can further be arranged for cooling other units, such as the power supply unit 6. On the other hand, the power supply unit can also be cooled in another way, e.g. using an external cooling device.

The power supply unit 6 includes a transformer unit 10 for transforming an external high voltage to a voltage level useful for feeding ICT and/or telecom equipment, e.g. single phase 220 Volt level or three phase 380 Volt level. Further, the power supply unit 6 includes an emergency power supply device 11. The emergency power supply unit 11 comprises a power generator 11, e.g. a generator powered by one or a multiple number of combustion engines consuming diesel, biogas or natural gas. As an alternative, the emergency power supply unit comprises a storage cell storing electrical energy. It is noted that, in principle, the power supply unit can also be implemented without an emergency power supply device.

Further, the cooling cell 5 comprises an air-to-air heat exchanger 12. For example, the air-to-air heat exchanger 12 comprises a heat wheel 13.

Herein, recirculation air heated by the equipment can be supplied as a first air stream to the air-to-air heat exchanger 12, and the first air stream can be cooled using a separate air stream. This may yield a saving of energy and hence of operating costs. Preferably, the first air stream cooled by the air-to-air heat exchanger 12 is supplied to the equipment as a second air stream, separately from the air stream heated by the equipment. This prevents the heated first air stream from mixing with the cooling air, so that the

temperature of the air stream cooled by the air-to-air heat exchanger 12 can be approximately equal to the desired operating temperature. In the shown embodiment, the first air stream is flown through a first pipe Cl, while the second air stream is flown through a second pipe C2. This may yield a further saving of energy and hence of costs.

Each of the space sections 3a-3d is facilitated by its own facilitating compartment 4a-4d. The power supply unit 6 feeds the ICT and/or telecom equipment of the corresponding space section via a single feeding line or via a multiple number of feeding lines, e.g. an A-feed and a B-feed.

For example, the A-feed may supply a main energy supply and the B-feed may supply an emergency energy supply to the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section 3. Alternatively, the A-feed and B-feed may both contribute to the main energy supply to the equipment in the corresponding space section 3. A pair of a space section and a corresponding facilitating compartment may form a self supporting unit that mainly operates independently from other facilitating compartments and/or space sections. Alternatively, a single facilitating compartment may facilitate a multiple, relatively low number of corresponding space sections 3. For example, as shown in Fig. 2, each of two facilitating compartments 4a and 4b may facilitate the same two sections 3a and 3b. As an example, a first of the two facilitating compartments 4a may supply a first energy supply to both sections 3a and 3b, called A-feed, via a first feeding line Af e.g. serving as a main supply, and a second of the two facilitating compartments 4b may supply a second energy supply to both sections 3a and 3b, called B-feed, via a second feeding line Bf e.g. for serving as an emergency supply.

As shown in Fig. 3, the facilitating compartment 4 may comprise a container 15 for housing the cooling cell 5, and the power supply unit 6. The container 15 may be in the form of a standard container, e.g. a shipping container. However, the container 15 can alternatively be a special designed container and can be constructed of any suitable material or combination of materials, including e.g. reinforced concrete, wood, brick and/or steel. For example, the container 15 may be in the form of a mobile module, which form may ease the below described process of adapting of the multiple number of facilitating compartments 4.

Figure 4 shows a schematic top view of a second embodiment of a data centre 1 according to the invention. At least one space section 3 is housed inside a building 20, and at least one corresponding facilitating compartment 4 is located outside the building 20. An advantage of such a layout over an embodiment wherein the space sections and the corresponding facilitating compartments are located inside a building is that the building size, and, as a consequence, the accommodation costs as well as the initial investment costs can be reduced.

In the shown example of Fig. 4, the facilitating compartments 4e and 4f each comprise a container 15e, f, and the compartments 4e,4f are each facilitating their own corresponding space section 3e, respectively 3f. It is noted that the size of the space sections can be the same or different. Fig. 4 shows two space sections having different sizes. For example, a first section 3f may comprise more cabinets 7 and/or cabinet rows 8 of cabinets than a second section 3e, e.g. because as yet, less servers are housed in the cabinets 8, and/or because the ICT and/or telecom equipment housed in the cabinets 8 needs less power and/or cooling. Another reason can be that different facilitating compartments 4 have different capacities of supplying cooling and/or power. It is noted that also the facilitating compartments 4 can be equal or different in size and/or performance. Although, preferably the facilitating compartments 4 or at least their containers 15 have the same measure, in order to make it relatively easy to exchange facilitating

compartments 4 in a data centre 1 and/or between a multiple number of data centres 1.

Figure 5a shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a third embodiment of a data centre 1 according to the invention. In the data centre 1 the multiple number of space sections 3g-31 is distributed over different levels 26a-26c. For example, a facilitating compartment 4g facilitating the equipment in space section 3g is located on the same level 26c as the corresponding space section 3g.

Figure 5b shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a fourth embodiment of a data centre according to the invention. Like in Fig. 5a, also in Fig. 5b, the multiple number of space sections 3p-3s are distributed over different height levels 26x,26y of the data centre 1. However, in this

embodiment a particular space section 3q,3s;3p,3r is located at a particular level 26x;26y and the corresponding facilitating compartment 4q,4s;4p,4r is located on an adjacent level 26w;26z. For example, a particular space section 3r is located on the particular level 26y, and the corresponding facilitating compartment 4r is located on an adjacent level, in this case the level 26z which is immediate above the level 26y of the particular space section 3r.

Alternatively, a particlar space section 3q may be located above the corresponding facilitating compartment 4q. It is noted that, in this context, a level 26a-26c,26w-26z may correspond to a floor 25a-25c,25w-25z of a building 20. Otherwise, a multiple number of levels can be located on a single floor of the building 20.

As shown in Figures 2, 4, 5a and 5b a particular facilitating compartment 4 may be located close to a corresponding space section 3. An advantage hereof is that a wiring equipment for the power supply and/or an air guiding system e.g. including piping segments for transport of cooling air or cooling fluids can be relatively short. As a consequence, initial costs of providing the piping and/or wiring, as well as future costs such as

maintenance costs and the like, can be reduced. Besides, the efficiency of the facilitating compartment 4 can be increased, since power loss and/or cooling loss due to relatively long pipes and/or wirings can be reduced as well.

Advantageously, a group of space sections 3 occupy a mainly elongated space 2 extending in a longitudinal direction D, and a facilitating compartment 4 is arranged offset from the corresponding space section 3 in a direction O transverse to the longitudinal direction D. For example, as shown in Fig. 5b, facilitating compartments 4p,4r;4q,4s are offset in a substantially vertical direction from their corresponding space sections 3p,3r;3q,3s. The substantially vertical direction could be either up or down. Alternatively, the offset direction can be e.g. a diagonal or a substantially horizontal direction.

As best shown in Fig. 4, a multiple number of space sections 3e,3f may be arranged in a row Rl extending in the longitudinal direction D, and corresponding facilitating compartments 4e,4f may be located at respective locations in another row R2 extending in the longitudinal direction D. The other row R2 is offset from the first row Rl in a horizontal offset direction O. Although both rows R1,R2 are in the embodiment of Fig. 4 located next to each other, additionally or alternatively the other row R2 can also be offset in a substantially vertical direction with respect to the first row Rl. In a further advantageous embodiment, as shown in Fig. 5b, the data centre 1 may include a first row Rx of space sections 3q,3s and a second row Ry of space sections 3p,3r, both rows Rx,Ry extending in the longitudinal direction D, wherein the data centre 1 may further include a first row Rw of facilitating compartments 4q,4s located offset from the corresponding space sections 3q,3s in the first row Rx of space sections, in a first offset direction 01 transverse to the longitudinal direction D, and may include a second row Rz of facilitating compartments 4p,4r located offset from the corresponding space sections 3p,3r in the second row Ry of space sections, in a second offset direction 02 opposite to the first offset direction 01. The offset directions may be oriented in a substantially vertical direction as shown in the fourth embodiment, shown in Fig. 5b. However, the offset directions may also be oriented in a substantially horizontal direction 03, 04 as shown in the first embodiment, see Fig. 2. Alternatively, other offset directions can be applied, e.g. in a diagonal direction, since there is for example no need to house the data centre 1 in a building 20 with substantially horizontal floors and/or substantially vertical walls.

In a further advantageous embodiment, ICT and/or telecom equipment contained in one space section 3 is only fed by one corresponding power supply unit 6. For this purpose, a set comprising a space section 3 and a power supply unit 6 may have an own wiring system interconnecting the power supply unit 6 with equipment in the corresponding space section 3.

In yet a further advantageous embodiment, ICT and/or telecom equipment contained in one space sections 3 is only cooled by one

corresponding cooling cell 5. To this end, a set comprising a space section 3 and a cooling cell 5 may have an own air guiding system Cl, C2 for guiding a first air stream flowing towards the corresponding cooling cell 5 and for guiding a second air stream flowing from the cooling cell 5 towards the equipment in the space section 3.. Figure 6 shows a schematic cross sectional side view of a fifth embodiment of a data centre 1 according to the invention. The space sections 3 are physically separated from each other, e.g. by means of one or a multiple number of walls 30 and/or partitions 30. An advantage of this is that one or a multiple number of sections 3 that is in use by a first user, e.g. a lessee, can be inaccessible to another user.

Besides, facilitating compartments 4 can mutually be spaced with an intermediate distance of e.g. 1, 1.5, or 2 meters, between adjacent

compartments, in order to form at least one corridor 36. Such a corridor 36 may make one or more corresponding space sections 3u;3v,3w accessible to a corresponding user.

Figure 7 shows a flowchart of an embodiment of a method 100 of constructing a data centre 1 according to the invention. The method 100 comprises a step of dividing 101 a space 2 into a multiple number of space sections 3 for containing ICT and/or telecom equipment therein; and a step of providing 102 a multiple number of facilitating compartments 4, facilitating corresponding space sections 3, wherein a compartment 4 includes a cooling cell 5 cooling the corresponding space section, and a power supply unit 6 feeding the ICT and/or telecom equipment in the corresponding space section 3.

Additionally, the method may further comprise a step of changing the number of space sections 3. Referring to Fig. 4, one or a multiple number of space sections 3 can be added to the first row Rl. Alternatively, one or a multiple number of space sections 3 can be removed.

Advantageously, the method may comprise the step of redividing the space into more or less space sections, e.g. by splitting up one or a multiple number of space sections. Additionally or alternatively, the redividing step can be done by merging one or a multiple number of space sections in one or a multiple number of other space sections. Moreover, the method may further comprise the step of adapting the multiple number of facilitating compartments 4 in accordance with a changed number of space sections 3. For example, one or a multiple number of facilitating compartments 4 may be removed or added.

Referring again to Fig. 4, for example, the space 2 can e.g. be redivided in a first space section comprising the cabinet rows 8a- 8c, a second section comprising the cabinet rows 8d-8h, and a third section comprising the cabinet rows 8i-8k. By doing so the number of space sections 3 has changed, in this case from two to three. Therefore, an extra facilitating compartment 4 may be added to the data centre 1. Alternatively or additionally, one or a multiple number of compartments 4 may be shoved up, preferably in the direction D, e.g. in order to obtain a data centre 1 wherein the position of the compartment 4 is close to the corresponding space section.

By adopting a modular approach, facilitating equipment for ICT and/or telecom equipment arranged in the data centre can be used efficiently, both in terms of space and investment. Further, the data centre according to the invention is flexible as it can easily be adapted to a varying demand of equipment to be facilitated without loosing efficiency regarding to space and costs.

The invention is not restricted to the embodiments described herein.

It will be understood that many variants are possible.

For example, the method may comprise further steps, e.g. steps wherein other adoptions take place, e.g. in adapting the piping, the wiring, and/or the location of the partitions 30.

Such and other variants will be apparent for the person skilled in the art and are considered to fall within the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.