Enhancing Reliability and Efficiency

Mission Critical HVAC Upgrade

Project Overview

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, this facility’s operation depended 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 to consider 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 using 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 were maintained on both facility floors 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.
  • Nine new 85kW (24-ton) pumped refrigerant economizer up-flow CRAC units will be installed 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 to operate as single systems instead of individual units improves 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.
Nationwide Telecommunications Provider
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