Data Center Mechanical and Electrical Design and Operation

Upcoming dates (1)

Oct. 15-17, 2024

Madison, WI

Course Overview

Computer data centers are rapidly evolving, and are critical for many new industrial and educational installations. However, they're complex to design and maintain, and need a large infrastructure of mechanical and electrical systems. Learn how to improve the reliability, serviceability and efficiency of their operation while increasing your understanding of code requirements, issues involved in site selection, reliability and resilience, and engineering design assumptions and criteria. You'll learn how to implement the commissioning process and identify energy saving measures for your projects.

Who Should Attend?

  • IT facility operators and system administrators
  • Mechanical and electrical design engineers
  • Architects and project team consultants
  • Construction managers and contractors
  • Data industry equipment vendors
  • Government procurement personnel

Course Outline

Day One

Welcome and Student Introductions                            

Tab 1 – Introduction to the IT Industry                                   

  • Technology trends
    • Historical servers, storage, network improvements
    • Future trends driving the industry
  • Technology uses
    • Data generation
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Technology supporting infrastructure
    • Data center facility types
    • Electricity usage and sustainability
    • Network and usage

Tab 2 – Properties of Moist Air                                     

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Enthalpy and pressure
  • Psychrometric chart
  • Sensible and latent heat
  • Mixing of two air streams

Tab 3 – ASHRAE and Environmental Criteria           

  • ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9
  • ASHRAE air cooling environments
  • ASHRAE air contamination guidelines
  • ASHRAE liquid cooling environments
  • ASHRAE data center standards

Tab 4 – Defining Uptime Expectations                         

  • Standards and guidelines
  • Best practices
  • Mechanical system topologies
  • Electrical system topologies
  • Performance analysis and optimization
  • Risk and availability assessment

Tab 5 – Data Center Architecture                                 

  • Data Center layout
    • Planning a data center floor (Cold Aisle / Hot Aisle)
    • Raised floor vs. non-raised floor
    • Cabling
    • IT placement

Day Two

Tab 5 – Data Center Architecture (continued)             

  • Air cooling
    • Air flow configurations
    • CFD analysis

Tab 6 – Data Hall Design Considerations                     

  • Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR)
    • Critical load
    • Load density
  • Cooling
    • Computer Room Air Conditioners (CRACs)
    • Computer Room Air Handlers (CRAHs)
  • Critical Power Distribution
    • Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
    • Remote Power Panels (RPPs)

Tab 7 – Mechanical System Design                               

  • Data Center cooling loads
    • Data Hall
    • UPS Systems
  • Mechanical plant equipment
    • Chillers
    • Heat rejection systems
    • Economizers
  • Performance metrics
    • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
    • WUE and CUE

Tab 8 – Electrical System Design                                  

  • Utility service and voltage classes
  • Standby power and emergency generators
  • Primary power and transfer switches

Day Three

 Tab 9 – Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)             

  • Technologies
  • Topologies
  • Electrical capacity management

 Tab 10 – Electrical Codes and Standards                     

  • NFPA 70, National Electrical Code
  • NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
  • NFPA 75, Standard for the Fire Protection of Information Technology Equipment
  • IEEE Std. 1100, IEEE Recommended Practice for Powering and Grounding Electronic Equipment (IEEE Emerald Book)

 Tab 11 – IT Equipment                                                  

  • IT equipment and workloads
  • IT equipment thermal design
    • Air cooling implementations
    • Liquid cooling implementations
  • IT interaction with the data center
    • X factor reliability analysis
    • Pressure, DT, airflow

Tab 12 – Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)

  • Definition and reference
  • Goals and use cases
  • Reporting structure

Tab 13 – Case Studies                                                     

  • Tier IV with 2,400 kW IT Load (NJ)
    • Conversion from existing Tier II
  • Tier III with 2,400 kW IT Load (MN)
    • Equipment galleries
  • Tier III with 6,400 kW IT load (CO)
    • Modular data halls
  • Tier III with 8,200 kW IT load (NC)
    • Capacity increase after initial build


“Didn’t know what to expect. The class was very informative and well run. Having PE’s present at the class made the discussion worthwhile.”
—Brett, Maryland Procurement Office, Ft. Meade, Maryland

"The course provided a great overview of the data center design world that is both practical and useful."
—Ben, Building Infrastructure Group Lead, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkley, California

"We have a big data center re-do facing us; I am now armed with enough info to be dangerous.”
—Walter, Tarrant County College District, Fort Worth, Texas

"Very informative and was helpful to be presented by industry experts." 
—Dave, Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“Absolutely! Wish I knew about this course last year!”
—Philip, United States Postal Service, Eagan, Minnesota

"I attended in order to gain a better understanding of the areas in my profession. I feel much more confident in supporting current and future clients."
—Iain, Compu Dynamics, Sterling, Virginia


Dustin Demetriou

Dustin W. Demetriou, PhD, is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM Corporation where he leads the sustainability and data center innovation team. He has more than 15 years of experience focused on data center optimization and advanced electronics cooling technologies. He is the current Vice Chair of the ASHRAE TC 9.9 IT Subcommittee and the past Chair of ASHRAE TC 9.9. Dustin received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Manhattan College, and MS and PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University.

Richard Schlosser

Richard Schlosser, principal at TiePoint-bkm Engineering in Baltimore, Maryland, is a registered professional engineer with more than 35 years of experience designing and commissioning Tier III and Tier IV power systems for computer and computer-related facilities. He served as a technical advisor to the Site Uptime Network for more than ten years. Richard holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Mark Malkin

Mark P. Malkin, PE, is a program director in the Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison. He is a registered Professional Engineer with over 25 years of experience in university facilities project management and HVAC systems design. His course offerings include HVAC, plumbing and fire protection fundamentals, building code reviews, and design and operation of science labs, data centers, museums and libraries. Mark received his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and his MS in Mechanical Engineering from UW–Madison.

Brian DeLeon

Brian J. DeLeon, PE, BCxP, Principal at TiePoint-bkm in Baltimore, MD, is a Professional Engineer with more than 15 years of experience focused on data centers and critical infrastructure projects. Brian specializes in central plants and complex expansion projects within live facilities. Brian holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and a BS in Physics from Salisbury University.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Mark Malkin

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