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Mission Critical HVAC Upgrade

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GBA provided a mission-critical HVAC upgrade for a nationwide telecommunications provider. The data center facility was built in the late 1980s and the HVAC equipment was at end-of-life. The water-cooled chillers, cooling towers, pumps and leaking air-handling units resulted in excessive energy and water usage and poor reliability. Also, the operation of this facility was dependent on the availability of a reliable water supply. If there were a water main break or other water supply issues, an emergency makeup water source was required to keep the facility operational.

GBA completed a study considering these issues and reviewed multiple options for updating these systems. It was determined that a pumped refrigerant economizer HVAC system was the best solution. The payback for this project was approximately 2.5 years due to the reduced energy usage and maintenance costs. GBA also developed a detailed phasing plan that included the use of temporary chillers, pumps, piping and power to maintain operations of the live facility throughout construction. By working closely with the contractor and owner throughout construction, proper cooling and redundancy was maintained on both floors of the facility with no downtime.

Elements of this project included:

  • Removing existing water-cooled chillers, cooling towers, condenser water pumps, chilled water pumps, water treatment system and all chilled water air-handling units serving the facility.
  • Installing nine new 85kW (24-ton) pumped refrigerant economizer upflow CRAC units to serve the telecom equipment rooms on the two floors, including the DC Power/Battery Room.
  • Installing new microchannel condensing units and refrigerant pump packages for each CRAC unit on the roof on new roof curbs. The refrigerant pumps allow the CRAC units to reduce or eliminate compressor operation in lower ambient temperatures, significantly reducing energy usage.
  • Networking new CRAC units on each floor together to operate as single systems instead of individual units, improving efficiency and reliability.
  • Designing all new MEP and architectural systems to meet or exceed local seismic requirements, energy efficiency requirements and all applicable State of California Title 24 requirements.
Client

Nationwide telecommunications provider

Project Size

Two-story, 24,500 SF existing building