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Life Safety Solutions for the DataCom & TeleCom Industry

Smoke detection systems play an essential role in the overall protection strategy for mitigating fire risks in Data Centers and Communications Infrastructure. The ideal smoke detection technology would be one that provides reliable very early warning fire detection and capable of monitoring the entire fire progression providing alarm thresholds for staged response leading up to the initiation of suppression systems. The very early warning of a potential fire incident, put simply the awareness of a fire incident before any substantial damage or loss is incurred will enable time to...

  • investigate and understand the threat
  • prepare staff and visitors
  • stage the response and avoid the cost of nuisance alarms
  • investigate options for control of the fire (fan shutdown, suppression release, etc.)
  • transfer data and processes to redundant systems
  • evacuate the premises
  • suppress the fire
  • ensure data center uptime

Ultimately, the key goal for any Data Center or Communications Infrastructure operator is uptime and a key contributor to ensuring uptime is detecting a fire event before critical fire size is reached allowing personnel the time required to control the situation, mitigate consequences, and reduce the impact on operations (i.e. avoid shutting down operations, senior management involvement, fire department response, suppressant release).

 

CHALLENGES

Smoke Detection Challenges

  • Dilution of smoke due to high airflow conditions
  • Dilution of smoke from the introduction of outside air (economy cooling)
  • Dilution of smoke with every air change cycle; smoke undergoes a certain degree of scrubbing with every passage through filters and fans
  • Horizontal flows that do not allow build-up of smoke in the space or under the ceiling
  • Exhausting smoke-laden air to the outside leaving little evidence that an event is developing
  • The momentary presence of smoke at return air vents leaves a narrow window of opportunity for detection
  • False alarms from introduction of outside pollution at economy mode
 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Data Center & Communications Infrastructure Considerations

ENVIRONMENT

  • Large volume
  • Substantial quantities of electronic equipment
  • Microclimates (high temperatures)
  • High heat loads
  • Dense spacing
  • High airflow
  • Complex containment strategies
  • High security areas (restricted access)
  • Difficult to access areas
  • Complex ceiling configurations
  • Constant changing use

CAUSES OF FIRE

  • Electrical systems: (power distribution systems, overloading/malfunction/degradation of electrical components, lighting)
  • Mechanical systems: (HVAC malfunction, generators, fuel lines). HVAC systems can aid in the circulation of smoke and gases resulting in damage of electronic devices in other compartments.
  • Administrative: (bad house-keeping and storage practices, unplanned fuel sources)

EFFECTS OF FIRE ON ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

In addition to thermal damage, non-thermal damage from the release of corrosive by products from the combustion of plastics such as zinc chloride (ZCL), hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen bromide (HBr), soot (carbon is conductive) will result in equipment degradation & damage, and slower network performance & service interruption.

 

WHY VESDA?

Why VESDA?

  • Reliable and accurate (absolute) smoke detection
  • High sensitivity enabling detection of:
    • Smouldering type fires with often minimal smoke output
    • Smoke being diluted to high airflows or being scrubbed with every air change cycle
  • Staged response across the fire development stages
  • Cumulative smoke sampling provides a represented reading of the entire space
  • Less impact to operations when installing, testing and maintaining:
    • Central mounting of detector for easy access for service and maintenance (outside secure and restricted areas)
    • Central point for testing of sampling network (benchmark test point)
  • Avoidance of detector placement in concealed spaces / hot containment aisles with high temperatures
  • Low maintenance requirements and frequency
  • Protection of optics (clean air barrier) and absolute sensitivity that ensures longevity and identical performance as commissioning throughout operational life
  • Ability to monitor and compensate for incoming pollutants in the protected space during economy mode operation (Referencing)
  • Lower TCO (detector's large coverage area, large number of sampling holes)
  • Track record being applied in Performance-based Design (PBD) solutions for data center environments (high and complex airflow configurations, layout topographies)
 

DESIGN

VESDA Design Considerations

  1. Environmental conditions: What are the cooling configurations and airflow characteristics (direction, magnitude), air temperatures, pressure differentials of the area to be protected?
  2. Structural characteristics: What effect will parameters such as ceiling height, containment structures, concealed spaces, room geometry and equipment locations/dimensions have on airflow patterns, ventilation and smoke detection?
  3. External influences: Could outside air intake for cooling or makeup introduce contaminants which may affect network reliability or be the source of unwanted alarms?
  4. Accessibility: Maintenance, test & inspection within sub-floor, ceiling void, above cable trays, within fully or partially enclosed equipment cabinets, etc.
  5. Guidelines: According to local codes/standards requirements and industry/end user practices and guidelines (sensitivity, detection locations)
  6. Zoning: Source location (hot/cold aisle) and/or suppressant release systems

Performance-Based Design in Data Centers

Industry innovations and new Data Center designs sometimes outpace prescriptive codes/standards cycles that might not offer correct and effective level of protection. In certain cases, this has resulted in a shift towards Performance-Based Design approaches applying detection solutions to the specific environmental and operational conditions of Data Centers to meet particular facility requirements & owner objectives.

 

APPLICATIONS

VESDA Solutions by Application

 
VESDA-E VES
VESDA-E VEP
VESDA-E VEU
XAS
XCL
Server Hall
   
Battery Room
 
Mechanical Room, CRAH Gallery
 
Administrative Areas
   
Electrical Distribution
 
Cable Vaults & Tunnels
 
Chiller Plant
 
Generator Room
 
Air Intake
 
 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Data Center & Communications Infrastructure Considerations

ENVIRONMENT

  • Large volume
  • Substantial quantities of electronic equipment
  • Microclimates (high temperatures)
  • High heat loads
  • Dense spacing
  • High airflow
  • Complex containment strategies
  • High security areas (restricted access)
  • Difficult to access areas
  • Complex ceiling configurations
  • Constant changing use

CAUSES OF FIRE

  • Electrical systems: (power distribution systems, overloading/malfunction/degradation of electrical components, lighting)
  • Mechanical systems: (HVAC malfunction, generators, fuel lines). HVAC systems can aid in the circulation of smoke and gases resulting in damage of electronic devices in other compartments.
  • Administrative: (bad house-keeping and storage practices, unplanned fuel sources)

EFFECTS OF FIRE ON ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT

In addition to thermal damage, non-thermal damage from the release of corrosive by products from the combustion of plastics such as zinc chloride (ZCL), hydrogen fluoride (HF), hydrogen bromide (HBr), soot (carbon is conductive) will result in equipment degradation & damage, and slower network performance & service interruption.

 

WHY VESDA?

Why VESDA?

  • Reliable and accurate (absolute) smoke detection
  • High sensitivity enabling detection of:
    • Smouldering type fires with often minimal smoke output
    • Smoke being diluted to high airflows or being scrubbed with every air change cycle
  • Staged response across the fire development stages
  • Cumulative smoke sampling provides a represented reading of the entire space
  • Less impact to operations when installing, testing and maintaining:
    • Central mounting of detector for easy access for service and maintenance (outside secure and restricted areas)
    • Central point for testing of sampling network (benchmark test point)
  • Avoidance of detector placement in concealed spaces / hot containment aisles with high temperatures
  • Low maintenance requirements and frequency
  • Protection of optics (clean air barrier) and absolute sensitivity that ensures longevity and identical performance as commissioning throughout operational life
  • Ability to monitor and compensate for incoming pollutants in the protected space during economy mode operation (Referencing)
  • Lower TCO (detector's large coverage area, large number of sampling holes)
  • Track record being applied in Performance-based Design (PBD) solutions for data center environments (high and complex airflow configurations, layout topographies)
 

DESIGN

VESDA Design Considerations

  1. Environmental conditions: What are the cooling configurations and airflow characteristics (direction, magnitude), air temperatures, pressure differentials of the area to be protected?
  2. Structural characteristics: What effect will parameters such as ceiling height, containment structures, concealed spaces, room geometry and equipment locations/dimensions have on airflow patterns, ventilation and smoke detection?
  3. External influences: Could outside air intake for cooling or makeup introduce contaminants which may affect network reliability or be the source of unwanted alarms?
  4. Accessibility: Maintenance, test & inspection within sub-floor, ceiling void, above cable trays, within fully or partially enclosed equipment cabinets, etc.
  5. Guidelines: According to local codes/standards requirements and industry/end user practices and guidelines (sensitivity, detection locations)
  6. Zoning: Source location (hot/cold aisle) and/or suppressant release systems

Performance-Based Design in Data Centers

Industry innovations and new Data Center designs sometimes outpace prescriptive codes/standards cycles that might not offer correct and effective level of protection. In certain cases, this has resulted in a shift towards Performance-Based Design approaches applying detection solutions to the specific environmental and operational conditions of Data Centers to meet particular facility requirements & owner objectives.

 

APPLICATIONS

VESDA Solutions by Application

 
VESDA-E VES
VESDA-E VEP
VESDA-E VEU
XAS
XCL
Server Hall
   
Battery Room
 
Mechanical Room, CRAH Gallery
 
Administrative Areas
   
Electrical Distribution
 
Cable Vaults & Tunnels
 
Chiller Plant
 
Generator Room
 
Air Intake
 
 
Wuhan Telecom Customer Success Story
Learn how Wuhan Telecom achieved central monitoring and control of their VESDA smoke detectors across 39 facilities
DOWNLOAD
Download VOCUS Data Center Customer Success Story
Download SunGard Technology Center Customer Success Story
Download VEU Detection Performance in TELCO Environments
Download VEU/VLP Detection Performance - Telco Environment Case Study


VESDA-E VEP
VESDA-E VEP Aspirating Smoke Detector (Mainstream ASD)
VESDA-E VES
VESDA-E VES Aspirating Smoke Detection (Sector Adressable ASD)
VESDA-E VEU
VESDA-E VEU Aspirating Smoke Detector (Highest Sensitivity ASD)
Xtralis XAS Air-sampling Smoke Detection
Xtralis XAS Air-sampling Smoke Detection
XCL-VEA-XXX
VESDA Sensepoint XCL - Micro Bore ASD System

Get the Guide

Download the Xtralis Telecommunications and Data Processing Design Guide

This updated Design Guide provides a comprehensive overview of the risks, environmental challenges, and best practices in applying very early warning smoke detection in the latest telecommunication and data processing facilities.

Complete this form to download your FREE copy.

 
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OFFER

Schedule a VESDA Lunch & Learn.

A VESDA Lunch and Learn presentation covers the major design aspects of a revolutionary addressable aspirating system (including relevant codes and standards), Advanced Detection products and/or their application in specific markets and case studies. We will provide tea/lunch with a technical exposé on how our very early warning detection products would provide cost savings and the earliest detection for each of your vertical markets.
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