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In Schwalbach, near Frankfurt in Germany, colocation provider maincubes is constructing another ‘sustainable-by-design’ colocation data center at the moment. The new facility will have an innovative closed-circuit indirect free cooling system, as well as efficient UPS systems that use green power and a waste heat recovery system. The maincubes FRA02 data center is scheduled to open in summer 2023.
maincubes is investing hundreds of millions of euros in their new FRA02 facility in Frankfurt. The new to build data center will have a power capacity of 20MW while offering approximately 7,000 m2 of white space for IT and office environments. The property would provide its tenants with safe and environmentally sustainable housing for their IT infrastructures. maincubes says it is already planning to build additional sustainable data centers in the Rhine-Main region.
Unauthorized data center access will be prevented and the digital infrastructure will be fully protected thanks to physical and electronic access control systems with biometric security features, an active security barrier, entry gates for people and vehicles, and significant organizational measures.
A public sector IT client has already committed to maincubes FRA02, and it will occupy the majority of the facility, despite the fact that building has not yet begun.
“FRA02 will extend our European data center network with a focus on sustainability, allowing us to make an important contribution to the green digital transformation. This isn’t simply our answer to the regulations on reducing CO2 emissions that affect all infrastructure providers, it is intrinsic to our CSR vision,” said Oliver Menzel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of maincubes. “Our goal is to achieve climate-neutral data center operations with our own resources.”
Data Center Cooling Concept
Schwalbach am Taunus, just outside Frankfurt, was chosen as the location for FRA02 due of its strong local power and telecommunications infrastructures, as well as the essential foundation for long-term data center operations. Next to that, enough renewable energy is accessible from power providers at this location, which maincubes may purchase directly. maincubes says it has the support of the Schwalbach municipal government, which would be eager to recruit sustainable digital infrastructure companies.
A key component of FRA02’s climate-friendly design is the cooling concept, which includes a cooling wall system, in addition to generating electricity from regenerative energy sources and using energy efficient technology. For air conditioning, cooling wall technology employs massive heat exchangers with cooled water running over them. The air-conditioning concept also includes the preliminary setup for server rack water cooling and immersion cooling in case tenants would wish to use them for their IT infrastructures.
The maincubes FRA02 data center will be DIN-EN50600 VK3 certified. According to maincubes, in some sections it will exceed certification criteria for power supply, achieving availability class IV (VK4).
“To maximize energy efficiency and guarantee availability we maintain an uninterruptable power supply via rotating UPS systems in a special configuration – the so-called isolated parallel bus (IP bus) – and a kinetic flywheel energy storage unit in place of a battery,” said Albrecht Kraas, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at maincubes. “This UPS system was designed with a special high-availability redundancy for the IP bus.”