Single platform for critical status updates, metering and billing

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Schneider Electric has collaborated with Mardix, a global provider of specialist switchgear, to create an energy efficient flagship colocation data centre facility in west London.

The London-based data centre operator had a requirement for metering all incoming and outgoing circuits on its low-voltage 400V AC switchboards to meet energy efficiency standards and to drive down energy costs. It also needed to perform metering and branch power monitoring of its power distribution units supplying their client’s server racks.

Energy efficiency is a topic that is not going to disappear. The price of energy is only going to rise, and the government will be introducing more legislation to continue to drive carbon reduction as the UK has a need to meet its emissions targets by 2050.

With estimates from Future Tech suggesting that 4% of all energy consumption in the UK comes from data centres, this is something that needs to be addressed.

The main drivers for installing this metering strategy were to allow the design of the facility to meet BREEAM’s ‘excellent’ standard and to efficiently and accurately bill colocation clients for their energy usage. All metering was collated in a power monitoring system, which provided a real time overview of building loads, historical profile reporting and monthly client rack power billing data to ensure that customers are charged correctly for the amount of energy they use.

In total, 235 metering locations would be connected to the PMS network, measuring multiple power attributes including lighting, power and cooling.

Mardix manufactured all of the low-voltage switchboards and PDUs and provided a Schneider Power Monitoring Expert v7.2 and CitectSCADA software-based power monitoring system. This system fully integrated all critical elements of the electrical distribution system together with all metering and branch power monitoring points.

Mardix also supplied its custom Mardix ims web based monitoring platform as a bolt-on to the Schneider Electric Power Monitoring System software. This simplified the day-to-day management and reporting of customer and rack data and provided ease of access for third party integration of metering data into the data centre operator’s web portal.

The project specification demanded an accurate multi-function meter for all low voltage switchboard outgoing units and PDU incoming supplies, plus a requirement for MID approval, thereby allowing the PDU energy readings to be used for client billing.

Mardix selected the PM5110 meter for low-voltage switchboard outgoing circuits and the MID approved PM5111 meter for PDU incoming supplies, taking advantage of the meter’s broad functionality, product reliability, competitive price and simple integration into the Power Monitoring Expert v7.2 software platform.

EB100263The ability to monitor all of the necessary parameters with one meter range, coupled with standard features, has embedded the PM5000 meter range in Mardix’s Power Management business strategy.

Andy Banks, power management director at Mardix, said: “This project was worked on in conjunction with Schneider Electric for a number of reasons. Firstly, the partnership provided a complete solution, which met all of the needs of the end user best and also at the best value. Both partners have successfully worked with the end customer in the past so it was an extension to an already very positive relationship.”

Alan Rees, channel manager, System Integrators at Schneider Electric, added: “Our solution solved the key problems the end customer was facing, which was how to provide critical status updates along with metering and billing information in one single platform. Our customers are thrilled with the solution, which has exceeded all their expectations. And provided a simplified means of integration with their separate DCIM platform.”

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