Acoustic data centre demonstration.


Shhh! A quiet data centre world of the future.

The world of data is growing fast and shows no signs of abating. The challenge is to respond to these needs in finding sustainable viable sites in which data centres can also operate cheek by jowl with residential and other noise sensitive receptors. The rush is to get new data centres permitted, built, and operating as soon as possible. The acoustic challenges are significant with clients wishing to maximise the operating capacity of a site whilst also considering the impact on neighbours and compliance with all relevant planning policy.

The large quantity of mechanical and electrical equipment requires careful thought and practical noise control measures. Cooling plant (multiple chillers, pumps, AHU’s and fans) to keep data halls at a constant temperature is critical for efficient operation of the servers and reduce risk of component failure and requires appropriate noise control using a range of methods such as enclosures, screening, acoustic louvres, metamaterials. Back-up power is vital should the mains power be interrupted. Generators are very noisy and require appropriate attenuation and enclosures to contain the noise. Transformer plant can generate low frequency hum and needs to be considered. Control of noise transfer within the data centre is also a consideration.

Feasibility and Scoping Tool.

We have very recently launched a new scoping tool where we are able to assess a potential development site using limited input information about the building and plant, to enable quick accurate feedback to our clients. We will start using this tool during all due-diligence and early-stage work. This does not replace the need for detailed noise mapping which will be undertaken at a later stage.

Visualisations like these can illustrate to non-engineers how we could approach noise mitigation where we have multiple sources in a relatively uncomplicated and accessible way.