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Data centre invests in safety with Arc Flash protection

Niamh Marriott, Editor

17/02/2021

Tags: News, Data Centre Management, Arc Flash

Topics: Data Centre Management

Schneider Electric has announced its partnership with Rosebery Group for a project at a UK-based global enterprise data centre. Five VAMP 321 Arc Flash relays, 13 Point Sensor I/O units, 11 Current Monitoring units and 145 Point sensors will be installed across the multiple switchboards across the data centre.

Arc flash incidents can be detrimental to data centres, no matter how large or small. Arc flash can cause power outages, but also result in loss of business, extensive material damage and can seriously jeopardise the safety of operational staff. This project is an investment in the longevity of the electrical switchgear and increased personnel safety at the data centre.

“Providing a safe and effective operation for our clients is our top priority,” said Andy Starkey, Controls Manager at Rosebery. “By partnering with Schneider Electric, we have been able to leverage the expertise of its engineers in power distribution, protection technology and control equipment. We are now recommending the best-in-class standard represented by the VAMP 321 to all our Clients.” Rosebery were seeking a trusted partner that could deliver superior safety in a low-voltage environment. Schneider Electric’s high-performance VAMP Arc Flash protection and monitoring relay ensured the data centre would benefit from fire risk reduction, reduced loss of production, and prolonged switchgear life if an arc flash should occur.

The data centre will also benefit from a fast installation and reduced insurance and investment costs. The site operates at low voltage, with a total load of 8MVA, two 11kV intake supplies and 8MVA of standby generation. Due to operational restrictions, the installation needed to be retrofitted on a live system with minimal disruption to service. To mitigate nuisance tripping due to unexpected light sources during normal operational conditions, Schneider Electric ensured that the overcurrent monitoring was employed in addition to the light detector and point sensors. Schneider Electric also performed extensive testing and commissioning prior to energisation to ensure the correct operation of the installation.

“Schneider Electric is fully committed to delivering the highest standard of safety and connectivity, and we are delighted to partner with Rosebery as they move towards smart protection and monitoring at this site,” added Paul Brown, automation account manager at Schneider Electric.  “Increased availability and safety in real time is essential to this transition. With the full interoperability of the VAMP 321 as a standalone arc flash system, the end user will be able to protect their entire network with fully zoned light and current sensing and mitigate any developing faults while maintaining the highest levels of cybersecurity.”

Schneider Electric’s VAMP range is a pioneer in the field of arc protection with close to 10,000 systems in service worldwide, ranging from single protection units to multi-zone arc flash systems. VAMP arc protection measures fault current and light through arc sensor channels which minimises burning time when a fault occurs by cutting off the current feeding the arc flash. The latest edition, the VAMP 321, can send a trip signal to the circuit breaker within 1 milli seconds, meeting the highest standards of arc flash protection. This UK data centre will be the first large-scale implementation of the product in the UK.

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