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Gas heat pumps solve data cooling problem

UK: The problems of supplying cooling to a Belfast data centre with 1500 employees and a limited electricity has been solved with the use of Panasonic’s gas-fired heat pumps.

One of the main challenges for data centres is coping with cooling and humidity control demands within the building because of the enormous heat gains generated by the large volume of computers and lighting systems – often in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the case of Concentrix Customer Engagement Centre in Belfast, there was also the added complication of the number of employees on site approaching close to 1500 people.

The installation at Concentrix was complex and challenging due to the building’s design and lack of available electrical supply to the site. In addition to the nature of Concentrix’s business, which requires a significant power load for the operations of the building including lighting, computers and servers, the property also needed to provide comfortable conditions for the 1500 employees on site.

Aircon, Panasonic’s Belfast-based Northern Ireland distributor, worked closely with consultants Beattie Flannigan and mechanical contractors, Harvey Group, to deliver the best possible solution that site conditions would allow.

The equipment specified included 13 GHP gas heat pump 3-pipe outdoor units and five GHP 2-pipe VRF outdoor units to service the AHU DX Systems. Indoors 155 Panasonic VRF cassettes serve all call centre and meeting room areas and 19 Hi Wall splits serve various small UPS and comms rooms.

The Panasonic DX gas-fired system provides close to 1.2MW of cooling, while requiring only 20kW-25kW of electrical input.

The building features low ceiling heights on each floor, so the team devised a solution based on a larger quantity of indoor units sized to meet duties at medium to low fan speeds.

Panasonic also supplied a centralised and full Modbus BMS control. The air-off control employed in all call centre area’s provides a high sensible heat ratio of 90%+.


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