Articles & Case Studies

Weholite comes top in data centre’s search for a cooling water intake solution

Posted: Monday 1st October 2012

A project to install cooling water intake systems to a brand new, 200 million euro data centre in Hamina, Finland, has been completed using an innovative installation of high density polyethylene (HDPE) Weholite pipes.

The centre is a centralised hub for the storage and management of data, usually stored on servers. The servers need to be kept at a consistently cool temperature to function, a process which is typically both costly and damaging to the environment due to the energy required.

A pioneering Weholite cooling system was designed by KWH Pipe Project Services to utilise the Baltic seawater, as opposed to a standard chiller plant system. The new system is made up of 260 metres of 1600 mm diameter Weholite pipes and two Weholite cooling water intake chambers fabricated from 3000 mm pipes.

The bespoke installation involved welding the pipes into two 130 mm strings. When complete, the profile was filled with wet concrete to provide ballast for the submersion. By utilising a temporary train track, the pipes were smoothly conveyed into the sea before being towed out by a tug boat and submerged down to the sea bed using the control S-bend technique and air balloons.

Set seven meters below sea level, the cooling system works by sucking seawater in through pre-existing granite tunnels which is then pumped through the data centre and run into exchangers that dissipate the heat from the servers to stop overheating. On exit, it is mixed with warmer water and returned to the sea to minimise the environmental impact.

Commenting on the assignment, Christian Vestman, project manager at KWH Pipe, said: “We are continuously working to find new and innovative ways to design and implement our Weholite pipe solutions. The brief for this project was focused on utilising the existing infrastructure and location, for which Weholite pipes are a perfect match thanks to their versatility.”

The large-scale project, was completed in just two months due to the efficient installation possible with Weholite, in comparison with more traditional materials. Its lightweight design and ability to fabricate in longer lengths made the pipes easier to transport and install, saving time and reducing costs.

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