A data centre is a facility used to house computer systems and associated component systems such as telecommunications and data storage. These facilities often include backup components, infrastructure for power supply, data communication connections and environmental controls such as air conditioning or cooling.
Data centres range from small to very large; they can occupy a single room, one or more floors or even entire buildings. Some larger facilities can consume as much electricity as a small town.
Data centres, in general, consume a lot of power and as a result get very hot. Therefore, cooling is required to keep the equipment at a suitable temperature to eliminate overheating and maintain operation. The humidity of the facility is also an important factor to consider.
What are the Risks?
Data centres contain masses of electrical equipment. If this equipment is faulty or ill-maintained, it can easily overheat and cause a fire. Likewise, if cooling or humidity control systems fail, the equipment can also overheat very quickly and cause a fire.
What are the Challenges?
IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organisational operations around the world. If a data centre suffers any downtime, business operations can come to a complete standstill and cost a lot of money. Therefore, suitable fire detection is extremely important to ensure that overheating or fire events are detected as quickly as possible. However, it is also important that the chosen fire detection system can be maintained, upgraded or extended quickly and efficiently to avoid disruption to the facilities operation.
Running cabling to extend or repair a fire alarm system can be time-consuming and cause areas to be shut down while work is completed. In many cases this downtime is unacceptable.
Hybrid Fire Detection
This is where hybrid fire detection can save a lot of time and money. While data centres often require different types of fire detection – linear heat detection installed along cabling or aspirating smoke detection to overcome the issues presented by high airflow areas – a hybrid fire detection system allows conventional fire alarm devices to connect wirelessly into a hardwired system. This means that where traditional type detection is used, devices can be replaced, or systems can be upgraded or extended with additional devices, with very little disruption to the facility. Wireless sounders, manual call points and I/O devices can also be used to keep disruption to a minimum.
Wireless devices can be used as part of an existing hardwired system or to form part of a new installation and Eurofyre’s hybrid detection solution, Wi-Fyre, is available with six user-selectable modes of operation to ensure compatibility with a range of systems:
- Addressable (Collective)
- ProFyre 2-Wire Addressable
- ProFyre Addressable
How it Works
At the heart of the Wi-Fyre system, is the Wi-Fyre transponder. This is installed into the fire alarms wiring via a compatible interface module. Each transponder can then communicate with up to thirty wireless mixed field devices such as wireless manual call points, wireless detectors, wireless sounders and wireless input/output devices.
A Wi-Fyre survey head is available to conduct a wireless survey which must be carried out to ensure that the signal between the transponder and the wireless device is strong enough for the system to operate efficiently.