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South Africa’s first green data park wins international award

South Africa’s Megatron Federal was among the winners of the 2011 DatacenterDynamics Data Centre Leaders’ Awards announced recently

The Johannesburg-based company, a division of Ellies, is a leader in the fields of power generation, transmission and distribution. The award recognised Megatron Federal’s achievement in ‘innovation in the medium data centre’ with the establishment of Africa’s and South Africa’s first green data park in Centurion, Gauteng. It is the first time in the five years of the Data Centre Leaders’ Awards that there has been a winner from Africa.

Megatron Federal’s Brandon Harcus received the award on behalf of the company during a gala dinner attended by 700 luminaries from the global data centre markets at London’s Lancaster Hotel.

“We are very proud to have received this award for our green data centre, which is under construction in Centurion,” said Harcus. The centre, which, when fully developed, will support 6,000 sqm of data space which can be hosted or co-hosted to suit customer requirements.

Traditional data centre developments are usually adversely affected by long construction lead times, difficulty in achieving good build quality and poor efficiency. They can take up to 18 months to two years to complete.

What sets the Megatron Federal green data park apart is that it is addressing these shortcomings. Construction started in August 2011 and the initial phase was commissioned in late January.

Build quality and short lead times have been achieved using factory-built modules supplied by BladeRoom in the UK. Fully assembled modules are factory tested as a functional data centre before shipment. Site work is limited to placement, linking modules, connection of the main electrical supplies and testing, leading to significant reductions in construction lead times.

The BladeRoom data centre concept utilises filtered outside and recirculated air, supplemented by adiabatic cooling (evaporation of water) to achieve ASHRAF conditions (US air conditioning standard without conventional mechanical cooling) virtually all year round. This results in a proven PUE (per unit efficiency) of below 1.3 at Tier 3 at loads as low as 40 per cent of capacity.

A complete BladeRoom data centre consists of 4.5 m by 15 m modules that are joined together to create a unit 15 m wide, with length determined by the data area required. The Centurion green data park comprises of three free-standing BladeRoom data centres, each containing three levels of BladeRoom, with its own energy centre on one end. This offers flexibility for inclusion of hosted space and owned space.

The data park also includes a unique renewable energy test site, providing a test bed for the development of innovative green technologies.

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