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A sociable climate for Facebook data

JS Humidifiers - FacebookUK-based JS Humidifiers is helping maintain sociable conditions for Facebook’s newly-built, naturally-cooled data centre in Luleå, Sweden.

The humidification system at Facebook Luleå is one of the largest installations of its type in the world. Lulea, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, has a mean annual temperature of around 1ºC, with asummer highs of around 20ºC. This allows Facebook to save money by cooling the data centre with fresh air rather than air conditioning for around eight months of the year.

“Luleå’s cold dry climate means that humidification is an essential component within the air conditioning process as without it the internal humidity could drop as low as 2%RH,” explained Peter Liddle, associate at Cundall, the consulting m&e engineers for the project.

“This low level of humidity would be unhealthy for staff and present an increased risk to the servers from electro-static discharge.”

The Sussex-based company manufactured and supplied 52 HumEvap MC3 evaporative humidifiers for the data centre to provide moisture to the incoming cold, dry Nordic air.

Two penthouse ventilation areas above the data halls each incorporate 26 evaporative humidifiers, with the full length of each system stretching over 67m wide and standing 5m high. At full output both systems combine to deliver 11,700 litres of moisture per hour to the air stream entering the data halls, while operating on a maximum of just 32kW/h of electricity.

The HumEvap MC3 humidifier consists of a bank of evaporative cassettes containing a fully bonded particle-free media. Water is pumped to the top of these evaporative cassettes and flows down their corrugated surface. As the air passes through the moist media it is humidified.

The evaporative humidifiers installed at Facebook Luleå incorporate in-tank UV water-purification to inhibit microbial growth and maintain hygienic operation.

The recent humidifier installation at Facebook Luleå was the second phase in the data centre’s construction.

JS Humidifiers is a member of the Condair Group of humidification companies and the first stage at Luleå saw its sister company, Condair Denmark, manufacture and install a high pressure spray humidification system.

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