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The electrical equipment, fire systems and associated IT infrastructure at Merlin (pictured at top) are carried 18 feet above ground level. This was part of Capgemini's strategy for minimising the carbon expended during construction of the facility, according to Anderson.
By not placing the support infrastructure underneath an artificial floor, it is easier for Capgemini to install new modules and to maintain existing equipment, he said.
This ventilation grill is where waste heat from the modules is ejected. "When we had these up at load testing, you could fry a chicken in here. The air came out at 47 degrees Celsius," Anderson said.
The method used in the datacentre for cooling and recycling the air is a five-stage process. The air first passes through a filter, then a set of filter bags, a direct-expansion chilling system, an adiabatic pre-evaporative cooling system (pictured) and finally a series of fans. The direct-expansion chilling is not powered by default, but the electricity kicks in if the ambient air temperature is registered as too high. Adiabatic cooling works by drawing the air through a filter, which is cooled by water. This helps to dissipate the heat and prevent evaporation.
Under full load, the air can rush through the cooling chambers at a pressure of almost 300 pounds per square inch.