By Arnau Sans | July 2021

 

Zentrys has been designing, developing and managing data centers for over ten years. Preventing failure is vital: data centers can never go down, not even during maintenance or repairs, because the consequences are far-reaching.

 

 

"Last year, HyTEPS carried out arc flash and selectivity studies at a Zentrys-managed location in Groningen to determine whether there was sufficient selectivity in relation to arc flashes. Our studies helped determine whether availability could be guaranteed and what personal protective equipment is needed. Arc flash is becoming a hot topic - a poorly dimensioned installation or lack of selectivity analysis can be dangerous."

"For redundancy purposes, power is supplied to some distribution boards in the data center by up to four parallel lines (which means higher arc energy), each with a circuit breaker in front. This is really interesting because in case of an arc flash the four circuit breakers must trip almost simultaneously. Data on 50 circuit breakers - that’s a lot! - of different brands and ages had to be gathered on-site, including their settings. We digitally modeled the installation and went to work with simulations using  our measurements and verified data. Based on the results, we could explain exactly where adjustments were required. The study helped determine which locations were unsafe: where would a high level of energy be released in case of an arc flash, which could be lethal for employees."

"It was really interesting to experience a Data Center from the inside. We got to see impressive large 3.5 MVA MV/LV transformers with big busbar coppers capable of transporting up to 5000A or RMS current, as well huge backup generators. I wouldn’t be able to visit such amazing installations if I didn’t have this job!"

"Completely understanding arc flash methodology based on the relevant standards is a fun personal challenge. It is really important to know what you are doing, and interpret the results correctly, but you also have to be able to answer any question the customer may have correctly. The combination of practical work and running complex simulations at the office makes this type of project enjoyable. We’ll be carrying out an arc flash scan at an even larger data center soon!"