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Phase 2 upgrade and efficiency improvements for PGS

Following on from the original data centre build in 2009, Keysource worked with Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) to deliver an innovative chiller free design, providing 100% indirect free cooling. This enabled PGS to reduce capital and ongoing expenditure without compromising on availability or performance.

PGS helps oil companies find offshore oil and gas reserves thanks to its ability to interpret and act on a range of geological, geographical, scientific and technical intelligence. Effective analysis of the data it acquires, stores and manages helps PGS to be a world-leading provider of seismic and electromagnetic services, data acquisition, processing and reservoir analysis/interpretation. Substantial computing capacity has to be tightly managed with a very high-density configuration. PGS operates 21 data centres globally, with three main data centre hubs located in Houston, Texas; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Weybridge, Surrey.

Keysource was awarded the contract to design and build the Weybridge data centre for PGS and it was highly successful on several fronts; an industry-leading annualised Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15 was achieved, resulting in several awards; savings of 6.3 million kWh in annual power consumption were made and high density hardware platforms of 30kW per rack were comfortably accommodated. The facility was the first to use Keysource’s ecofris cooling solution, and the innovative cooling approach and ability to recirculate air within a data centre without using fresh air helped to reduce the energy costs for PGS.

Keysource looked at ways to maximise the use of white space for IT as well as how to remove the overhead cost of running mechanical cooling, even for a very limited number of hours a year. This would ensure maximum availability of power for the IT equipment. With a marginal improvement in operating efficiency (annualised PUE) the biggest design change was the reduced peak PUE. This change reduced the overhead of reserve power for cooling and enabled an increase in IT design load from 1.8MW to 2.7MW within the same footprint.

The original design catered for a scalable and modular deployment which would enable four phases of 600kW increments. The phase 2 project would see the IT load increase from 600kW to 1.2MW and increase the future maximum from 1.8MW to 2.7MW. The data hall was laid out to facilitate the deployment of future IT equipment within the same raised floor space and did not require any expansion of the data hall itself. All supporting mechanical and electrical plant, was located outside the DC white space, with the electrical system and UPS installed in new modular constructed buildings adjacent to the DC.

Whilst maintaining the same principle for data centre cooling and airflow as phase 1, the latest innovation for ecofris was deployed which had the added benefit of a chillerless design. This was achieved by a combination of dynamic control of server inlet temperatures, plus the Keysource FM team fine-tuning the operation of the overall system. The airflow design and comprehensive control system, combined with total separation of hot and cold air, meant that the facility could accommodate 35kW in any rack and deliver a PUE L2,YC (Level 2, Continuous Measurement) of 1.15 while maintaining a server inlet temperature consistent across the entire space of 72°F (22°C) +/-1°. Maintaining an indirect free cooling design, rather than adopting direct fresh air or air to air, eliminated the need for major filtration or the need for mechanical back up.

With innovation central to the improved performance of the data centre, Keysource also improved the original UPS design and for phase 2 delivered modular, highly efficient UPS systems providing 96% efficiency from >25% facility load, plus facility controls which provided automated optimisation.

The upgrade has been recognised internationally, winning the Uptime Institute Brill Award for ‘Operational upgrade in EMEA’.

Project Highlights

  • Multiple award-winning facility including the Uptime Institute Brill Award and EU Code of Conduct Participant Award.

  • IT design load increase from 1.8MW to 2.7MW in same footprint.

  • Reduced PUE for one of the most efficient European data centres.

  • 50% rise in Rack Power Density to 30kW/rack.

  • 2nd phase incorporated an innovative chiller free design delivering 100% indirect free cooling.

  • The facility has consistently delivered an annualised PUE of 1.15 since operation.

“We have been very pleased with the performance of the facility since it went live in 2008. Yet working in such a competitive industry and with a culture of innovation we always want to explore opportunities for improvement. Keysource has achieved that improvement from our upgrade and the resulting benefits to our business are significant in terms of capacity, flexibility and cost. What impressed me most was the way the Keysource project team kept the whole site working as an office and data centre while maintaining our high safety standards.”

— Mike Turff, Global Data Centre Manager, PGS

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