A Look Inside a Green Data Center

Touring Emerson's St. Louis Data Center

Traveled to St. Louis last week... No, not to attend Major League Baseball’s All-Star game, but to tour a new, not-quite-open-for-business green Data Center. Emerson Network Power, which manufactures a variety of Data Center physical infrastructure components, hosted a two-day open house of their new 35,000 square Data Center. The facility has several green elements, from solar panels to high-efficiency cooling and electrical systems. (Project officials anticipate the Data Center will ultimately received a LEED gold certification.) Data Center Knowlege has video overview of the site at: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2009/07/20/video-emersons-st-louis-data-center/ Some of the more interesting elements, in my opinion: • A 7,800 square foot, 100 kW solar inverter, reportedly the largest in the state of Missouri, is located on the roof. The building can always make use of the energy from the array, so there's no storage mechanism for the energy. • Server cabinet locations have fiber optic cabling routed to them, but no copper. • Server cabinets are 32-inch wide by 48-inch deep cabinets. They’re provided with an 12 kW of cooling on average, with up to 24 kW for higher-density installations. • The cabinets are stocked with power strips with hot-swappable socket clusters that can go from 20, 30 or 60 amps and incorporate single or 3-phase power. Some Data Centers these days are being built with their power and cabling infrastructure overhead and no raised floor, but Emerson has routed it all in a 36-inch deep underfloor plenum space. Rich Walker, sales manager and longtime HVAC engineer for Emerson, firmly believes the underfloor configuration allows for greater cooling delivery. “We go with raised floors for one reason,” Walker said during a discussion of the Data Center's cooling infrastructure. “Heat rises and we expect that trend to continue.”

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