Inert gas clean agent fire suppression systems such as IG-55 or IG-541 have been discharged successfully in data centres for many years without any incidents so what has changed?
Hard disk drives are robust pieces of equipment, however, their sensitivity to vibration has increased due to the advances in technology.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, hard drive and server makers innovated and changed the hard drive market, 5.25-inch drives soon became 3.5-inch drives a popular size of modern desktop computers and Storage Pods. When laptops gained in popularity, drives shrunk again to 2.5 inches.
The need for better, faster, more reliable and flexible storage also gave rise to different interfaces: IDE, SCSI, ATA, SATA, PCIe. Drive makers improved performance by increasing the drive speed.
Speeds of 5,400 revolutions per minute (RPM) was standard, but 7,200 yielded better performance. Over time manufacturers upped the ante by introducing 10,000-RPM and eventually 15,000-RPM drives and at the same time the platter of the drives became thinner and storage capacity of the drive increased.
Industry testing has indicated that there is a risk of noise damaging hard disk drives, a combination of increased sensitivity and the noise generated by the fire detection and alarm system as well as the fire suppression system could lead to these instances.
Johnson Controls have developed an acoustic nozzle solution to help solve the impact that the noise vibrations can occur in higher speed hard disk drives.
This solution is a new acoustic nozzle which gives a significant reduction in sound power compared to the standard inert gas fire protection discharge nozzle.
The acoustic nozzle is available in a 360° pattern. It can achieve a significant area coverage of 9.8 x 9.8 m and up to a maximum height of 6.1 m.
Using the unique Johnson Controls online acoustic calculation tool the sound level within the data centre can be predicted.
The acoustic nozzle is designed to reduce the sound power level produced during a discharge of the gas suppression system (Sound pressure is the sound that is received at the location remote from the noise source) which is the critical sound energy relevant to the effects on the hard disk drives.
The JCI Acoustic Nozzle
The Acoustic nozzle can be used on all inert gas suppression systems including IG-55 & IG-541 (Inergen).
Details of a white paper written by Johnson Controls can be found here.
SolarFire Systems have retrofitted silencer nozzles within operational data centres throughout the UK.
Call us today to find out how we can help.
Fire Protection Systems from SolarFire Systems
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