Wednesday, 19th February 2020

Capgemini UK working with SPIE to deliver the next phase of its world class Merlin data centre

Capgemini UK plc has appointed SPIE as Principal Contractor and Designer to deliver the expansion of its award-winning modular data centre space. Complete with full containerised power plant, the work will take place at Merlin, near Swindon, and will incorporate planning for future expansion work.

Merlin is a state-of-the-art facility, setting new benchmarks in terms of data centre sustainability, design and construction. Involving significant off-site building, the modular format of the Merlin development makes it possible for SPIE and Capgemini to meet strict time objectives while minimising Merlin’s environmental footprint. SPIE’s role includes managing the off-site build whilst co-ordinating design, delivery and installation and performance analysis. Throughout the project SPIE’s London and South East Division is being strongly supported by its in-house Central Energy/Engineering team throughout.

SPIE is currently delivering stage 1 of the phase 2 expansion of the development. As part of this the independent European leader in electrical and mechanical engineering and HVAC services is installing a highly efficient, indirect, fresh air cooling facility. An average 2.4 kW output per rack is expected to be achieved through the use of a hot aisle containment system allowing for much higher individual rack capacities.

SPIE is constructing each module with specific expansion capabilities in mind; there will be the potential to increase the 104 racks found in each individual module to 143. The design also includes acoustics in operation to meet local environmental health requirements.

Each external containerised power plant will incorporate generators, flywheel Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and switchgear. Providing initial resilient power of up to 1MW(N+1), there will be the capacity to upgrade to 2MW. The facility will also combine heat-pipe, heat-transfer technology in the cooling modules, and indirect outside air cooling technology. All these innovations enable Merlin to continue its position leading the data centre sustainability agenda.

Nick Hopper, Operations Manager, SPIE, comments: "We are delighted to have secured this project with Capgemini which builds upon our long term relationship working within several of their critical buildings throughout the UK’

Explaining the advantages of SPIE’s off-site build methodology he continues: “Not only does it benefit the client by maximising their decision making time, it results in a very high-quality finished product. With reduced disruption to the existing facility, and to the local area the client can optimise project value, reducing testing time and minimising waste and carbon emissions on-site.”

Kevin Read, GIO UK – Senior Delivery Service Manager, Capgemini, says: “In the last 15 years we have partnered with SPIE for a number of projects. The team’s technical excellence and engineering experience shines through and we rely on them to maintain a number of our sites.”

SPIE previously installed and commissioned the first phase of data modules at the Merlin site in 2010. The second phase started in November 2014 and is due for completion in May 2015.

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