Cold aisle enclosures and fire suppression
Cold aisle containment is a solution that provides a number of benefits to data centre clients. A cold aisle system reduces energy consumption, drives return on investment and contributes to a greener environment. Many data centres now adopt an aisle containment solution (either hot aisle or cold aisle) as standard practice.
One important consideration for any data centre implementing an aisle containment system is fire safety. The aisle containment enclosure must be implemented in a way that doesn’t prevent water or gas from your suppression system entering your data aisle in the event of a fire. All Cross-Guard’s aisle containment systems are designed and manufactured to allow for compliant installations, putting your mind at rest when it comes to health and safety. Please note you will need a third party to arrange for your fire suppression system to link with your choice of roof, unless you’ve chosen the fixed cold aisle panels, in which case your fire suppression will need to be within the aisle.
Cross-Guard: a recent example of a bespoke aisle containment roof
Before discussing the various roof options available as standard for aisle containment (all of which ensure fire suppression is not hindered aside from fixed roof where suppression needs setting up in the aisle itself), it’s worth considering whether your data centre requires a bespoke option. There are set standard sizes for the different roofs available with Cross-Guard’s cold aisle enclosures, but if these are not suitable the team can always work with you to try and find a solution for even the most challenging environments.
As an example, one client Cross-Guard worked with recently had tall cabinets and only 100mm of space at the top, which was not sufficient for standard fire suppression hatches (used in Cross-Guard’s active panel roof). The Cross-Guard team worked with the client and designed a slimmer product, which operated using a maglock pivot on a bar. The new fire suppression hatch design used different types of maglock and door closes to pull it closed.
This provides just one example of how Cross-Guard can work with you to ensure the right aisle containment solution. Moving on, this post will discuss some of Cross-Guard’s standard cold aisle enclosure roof options for fire suppression.
Cold aisle roof using active panels
A cold aisle containment system set up with an active panel roof uses specialised fire suppression hatches that can be linked up to your existing fire suppression system. These open automatically in the event of a fire to allow the gas or water suppression through into the data aisle. They are easily maintained and effective.
FM-approved shrinkable roof panels for your cold aisle containment system
A recent addition to our range of cold aisle roofs is the FM-approved shrinkable roof. Panels within this cold aisle roof shrink when the aisle reaches a certain temperature, again allowing fire suppression systems to work without hindrance. Read more in our recent article on Cross-Guard obtaining FM approval for cold aisle roof.
Collapsible cold aisle roof
Similar to FM-approved shrinkable panels, these collapse rather than shrink when temperatures exceed a certain level due to a low temperature fusible link mechanism. The link mechanism causes the panels to collapse, as opposed to the panels themselves actually shrinking. This then freely allows fire suppression into the aisle.
Fixed cold aisle containment roof panels
Although we do offer fixed cold aisle containment roofs, you will need to arrange fire suppression for these panels within the aisle itself. Panels are fixed in place with stainless steel rods, but easily removable for cleaning and maintenance.
Require a compliant aisle containment solution for your data centre
If you require an aisle containment system for your data centre, or have any questions about fire suppression in aisle enclosures or anything else about cold or hot aisle containment, you can always give us a call on 020 8108 9328 or email email@example.com.