3D render of the internal data centre server room

Confidential Data Centre South Dublin (Ireland)

Location: South Dublin, Ireland
System Standard: EN 62305 & EN 50522
Client: Winthrop Engineering
Duration: 18-month contract

LPI Group were commissioned by Winthrop Engineering to provide the full-solution lightning protection system and earthing system to a Confidential Data Centre, located at a modern technology park in South Dublin. The data centre provides maximum product flexibility with state of the art power, cooling, connectivity and system redundancy. Therefore, it was crucial that the building was equipped with a high-performance lightning protection system and site-wide earthing system to ensure complete building envelope protection against the detrimental losses of a lightning strike.

Consultancy

LPI Group technicians first attended site to carry out a soil resistivity test and determine the conductivity of the soil to assist the design of an appropriate earthing system. Following this, a strike risk assessment was conducted to determine the level of lightning protection required on the project. Discussions were then held with the appropriate personnel and recommendations and costings for the protection systems were given.

Design

By utilising the results gained from the soil resistivity test, the LPI Group ATLAS accredited design team completed an external earthing design using the CDEG Software. This software determined the Earth Potential Rise (EPR), to establish the equipotential bonding and an appropriate Step and Touch Potential (STP).

Next, the lightning protection system design was produced from the Furse Strike Risk Software, which carried out the strike risk assessment. A level 1 lightning protection system design was produced, consisting of a 5 x 5m air termination network, with air termination rods connected to external down conductors every 10m. Coordinated with the earthing system design, this assured the client an appropriate ohm resistance and complete lightning protection at the mission-critical facility.

Installation

The LPI Group installation engineers followed the earthing and lightning protection construction drawings to ensure complete design adherence at each stage of the installation process.

First, the foundation earth electrodes were connected, followed by their connection to the structural steel columns. The installation engineers then installed the underground internal earthing system and the external ring conductor. Following this, the LPI engineers installed the lightning protection system and site-wide earthing network, which included the earthing of the site-wide fence, lighting columns, CCTV columns, PIVs, and fire hydrants.

To warrant that the system was installed to a high-quality standard, LPI quality checks were completed using our online Inspection & Test Plan (ITP).

Test & Commission

Once the installation was complete, a full test and commissioning was conducted. This included a fall of potential test, slope test, continuity test and a dead earth test. The ohm readings attained proved that the system complied with the code of practice standards, EN 62305, EN 50522 and BS 7430. These findings were given to the client in a commissioning portfolio to confirm certification.