DCN July 2017 - Page 35

emergency backup Before serviced fuel is returned to storage, it’s imperative tanks are cleaned thoroughly. contamination. Depending on the size and type, tanks can either be cleaned manually by trained operatives or using automated machinery. Remote controlled washers can speed up the cleaning process as well as reducing downtime and man-entry costs, such as scaffolding. Safe Storage Emergency backup generators serve a critical purpose when disaster strikes, enabling data centres to stay fully operational even when issues with the main energy source have occurred. Usually in the form of oil-fired generators, the fact that these power sources are seldom used can often present problems as essential maintenance to both assets and fuel is neglected. A regular maintenance programme can reduce these risks and extend the useful life of stored fuel. Fuel Polishing All fuel is vulnerable to contamination by water, which causes microbe growth and damaging sludge formation in bio- fuels. EU Directives on bio-fuels and EU Standards for bio-diesel have increased the need for more frequent and higher standards of maintenance, not to mention the harmful effect fuel contamination can have on tank interiors, pipework, filters and seals. Monthly checks will help to identify any problems with bacterial growth or sediment build-up which can then be swiftly addressed. Storage tanks holding back- up fuel can degrade over time, causing leaks and subsequent pollution. Regular inspection is recommended and required, in accordance with Fuel Storage Regulations and OFTEC guidelines. Legally, the overall responsibility for all fuel storage facilities falls to the owner, including ensuring that these annual inspections and their subsequent maintenance requirements are adhered to. As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’ and the cost of an ongoing maintenance programme will certainly pail in insignificance when compared to the cost of breakdown, repair and resulting downtime. If we are to meet demand for inevitable future growth in this sector we must take action now to ensure that UK data centres are securely backed-up and resilient to environmental threats. Solutions include emptying and cleaning the tanks, or using bacterial additives and fuel polishing, a process that eliminates the source of the problem as well as removing infected material. Fuel can be tested and treated on-site, using mobile units, or in a laboratory environment. Tank Cleaning Before serviced fuel is returned to storage, it’s imperative tanks are cleaned thoroughly: Residual sediment should be removed, pipes flushed with clean fuel, filters cleaned or replaced and pumps bled. At this point, biocide can be added to the tank, which will help delay future microbial Flood damage is a particular threat to data centres. * TCL (Tariff Consultancy Ltd) Data Centre Europe Pricing – 2015 to 2020 report, http://www.telecomspricing. com/news_detail.cfm?item=10643 July 2017 | 35