Data Centre Case Study



We were appointed by an international engineering consultancy to advise on earthing and lightning protection design for a large European Data Centre campas for a confidential client. After this project was delivered, the engineering consultancy was able to continue to enhance it's reputation with the client by building an integrated service approach. In turn, the client knew they had a high-quality installation that was designed using the most up-to-date modelling practices to the latest standards at the time knowing that some of the top minds in the business had de-risked their site from the obvious and not-so-obvious hazards. So, let us unpick how this happened...

Soil resistivity measurements

The first step was to perform on-site soil resistivity measurements using our top 1% test equipment. This equipment uses a far more powerful signal than conventional testers. As the site had extremely low soil resistivity, so ensuring accurare measurements requires specialist equipment that can produce a 400-800V signal. 


Using XGSLab XGSA_FD, we were able to analyse the earth electrode system for all the buildings on the campus and determine earth potential rise (EPR), to ensure compliance with national and client specifications. We also performed an impressed voltage study to assess the impact of a significant stretch of parallel overhead lines, after contractors reported sparking when making earthing connections in previous phases of the project. 

Earthing & Lightning Protection Design

We developed outline design for the earthing system to manage step and touch voltage compliance to EN 50522 as well as managing the impressed voltage hazard. 

As part of the lightning protection system design, using XGSLab Shield to perform a full 3D rolling sphere analysis (RSM) for the buildings, including the external areas. Using the full capabilities of the Shield package, we were able to develop an optimal lightning protection arrangement that made use of exisiting structures where possible, to guarantee the best possible uptime for this critical site. 


We were able to demonstrate our ability to work seamlessly in partnership with the consultancy firm as an extension to their own capabilities to support the development of their detailed design, and during construction to deal with any issues that arose as construction progressed. When the project was completed, we extended this partnership to the earthing installation contractor to review verification testing results and confirm the installation met the design requirements. 

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