Opened in 2006, the Royal Blackburn Hospital provides a full range of hospital services and has for many years been rated as good, by the Quality Care Commission. The hospital, operated by the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, prides itself on its state of the art in-patient facilities, centralised outpatient department, new operating theatres and Emergency Department.

Data centre cooling upgrade needed

With IT becoming ever more important in the efficient delivery of medical services, the decision was made to improve the on-premise server resource, which required better cooling to operate optimally.

All IT services use this primary data centre, so keeping it cool and preventing any outages is essential to the critical tasks undertaken within the hospital environment.

The Holborn project team worked closely with Advanced Power Technology (APT), who were responsible for building the server room and helping the hospital improve the reliability of IT services. Room for future growth was important, whilst the project proved a good opportunity to reduce the site’s environmental impact thanks to modern, more efficient cooling.

Working in a live environment, often sharing space with hospital staff and the public requires meticulous planning, from removing rubble to craning in new equipment. In this case the job was complicated by the location for the new chillers, which were to be fitted in a light well, with no external access.

We specified, supplied, installed and commissioned two Airedale 145kw free cooling chillers, with self-contained larger size single inverter pumps, expansion vessels and three port modulating valves to deliver a total cooling load of 100Kw.

Ancillary equipment was housed in a purpose-built GRP enclosure, constructed off-site and designed to be light enough to be lifted in by crane with the chillers.

On the day of the installation, the Holborn team were on site ready for the lift at first light, with the crane, chiller, GRP enclosure and pedestrian signage ready by 4.30am.

To minimise disruption to what is a live 24/7 working environment, all lifting works were completed and derigged by 6.45am, well ahead of the arrival of most of the medical staff or members of the public.

Chilled water header with room to expand

To allow for future expansion of the server room as the hospital adds services, we also fitted a chilled water header into the server room with five sets of flow and return connections for the required in-row coolers, with two spare connections for future use.

Our work involved connecting the modular chilled water (MCW) units to the pressurisation unit, with thermal Insulation to all necessary pipework and fixtures, with Polyisobutylene (PIB) sheeting externally, foil faced internally.

Experience worth waiting for

It appears it is our reputation for quality that not only wins us new contracts, but ensures our clients come back for more. We deliver high quality cooling solutions and undertake all aspects of the work from site clearance to commissioning, which makes the life of main contractors easier and makes Holborn a ‘go-to’ choice for projects of this nature.

It is also gratifying for us to work with businesses of APT’s stature and help them deliver high quality solutions to meet the growing IT demands of clients across a broad range of public and private sectors.

(pull-quote for design) Richard Vaughan, APT Contract Manager said: “Holborn understand our demands for quality and work with us to deliver the right solutions on time and within budget. Live environments hold no fears for their professional and dedicated team, who had everything prepared in advance ready for the tricky job of craning the equipment into the light- well.