Penn State Hershey Data Center
Hershey, PA United States | 2016
The new 20 Megawatt data centre in Hume, Australia is designed to meet the ever increasing demand for cloud services from the Australian government. The custom design demands structural, environmental, aesthetic and operational requirements to meet the highest standards for data centres. The CDC's innovative design and state of the art facility allows it to operate in “island mode” during peak times by using onsite power generators and recycled water to operate “off the grid” when required. This provides secure, reliable, flexible and scalable services and green, environmentally-friendly operations.
The production team at the galvanizer’s operation were able to progressively dip these heavy large beams and work to the limits of their operational scope and achieve fantastic results.
Hot-dip galvanizing was used predominantly in the structural steel members of the Data Centre. This included 20m lengths of 1200 welded beams, universal columns and large structural pipes. Approximately 450 tonnes of steel were required to be hot-dip galvanized. In particular, the Chiller Deck section, which will house the cooling units for the mainframes and data units.
There were a few challenges with the size and weight of some of the sections. Baxter Engineering, in consultation with the galvanizer, assessed these and worked together to ensure the best possible results. Some of the members were greater than 20 metres in lengths, weighing nearly 10 tonne and had the potential to distort due to thickness ratios in Web to Flange and progressive dipping. The production team at the galvanizer’s operation was able to progressively dip these heavy large beams and work to the limits of their operational scope and achieve fantastic results.
The galvanizer also utilized its own truck fleet to deliver direct to site in Hume. This was also very challenging- due to the lengths, travel restrictions were in place. Good communication and co-ordination with the Baxter team onsite was imperative to ensure dates and times for unloading onsite could be met.
The technical and engineering innovation for this project rests in the design of the structure. Although Hume is in a low corrosive environment, hot-dip galvanizing was used due to its durability and longevity. In particular, the chiller deck where condensation from the cooling units will form. Hot-dip galvanizing will provide the longest life span compared to almost all other coating options and achieve the requirements of the design brief.
Mainly funded by government and government agencies, the project is intended to also draw the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and others to utilize its services. It also creates job opportunities for local people as well as supply and install opportunities for local companies. It is estimated that over $500 million will be spent on projects like this over the coming years which will benefit local businesses by utilizing Australian products and Australian companies.
The design of this project ensures it is environmentally responsible. Being able to draw upon its own power generation and water supply, it ensures local residents will not be adversely affected during optimum electricity and water usage peaks. It also creates hundreds of local job opportunities during and after construction. This project will also ensure the security of our data is maintained and managed at a government level.
With society’s ever increasing demand for cloud and shared services, projects like this will continue to be built and utilized. Hot-dip galvanizing will be at the forefront during construction. The durability and cost benefit for the end client is of the upmost importance. It also demonstrates that hot-dip galvanizing is not only a product that has to be used near coastline environments, but can also benefit projects in low corrosive zones.
Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Life-Cycle Cost, Quality of HDG, Sustainability
Welded Beams, Universal Columns, Large Structural Pipes
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