Data Center Mechanical and Electrical Design and Operation

Upcoming dates (1)

Oct. 25-27, 2022

Madison, WI or Live Online

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

Introduction to the IT Industry

  • Technology trends
    • Servers, storage improvements
  • Technology Uses
    • Big Data
    • Internet traffic
  • Technology supporting infrastructure
    • Types of data centers
    • Electricity usage

Properties of Moist Air

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

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

Data Center Architecture

  • Data Center layout
    • Planning a data center floor (Cold Aisle / Hot Aisle)
    • Raised floor vs. non-raised floor
    • Cabling
    • Modular data center
  • Air cooling
    • Air flow configurations
    • CFD analysis

Day Two

Mechanical Design Considerations

  • Overview of mechanical infrastructure
    • Cooling loads
    • Design considerations
  • Mechanical infrastructure equipment
    • Heat rejection systems
    • Chillers
    • Computer Room Air Conditioners / Handlers
    • Economizers
    • Liquid cooling systems
  • Performance metrics
    • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)
    • WUE and CUE

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)

Electrical Design Criteria

  • Critical power distribution
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
  • Utility service and voltage classes
  • Standby power and emergency generators
  • Primary power and transfer switches
  • Electrical capacity management

Day Three

 IT Equipment

  • IT equipment components
  • IT equipment thermal design
    • Air cooling implementations
    • Liquid cooling implementations
  • IT equipment performance trends
    • Workloads and configurations
    • Power trends
  • IT interaction with the Data Center
    • X factor reliability analysis
    • Pressure, DT, Airflow

 Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)

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

Defining Uptime Expectations   

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

Case Studies

  • Tier IV with 2,400 kW IT Load (NJ)
    • Conversion from existing Tier II
  • Tier IV with 7,200 kW IT load (AZ)
    • Four story building
  • 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

Dr. Demetriou is a Senior Engineer at IBM Corporation in the IBM Systems’ Advanced Thermal Energy Efficiency Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University. His research is focused on the analysis, application and optimization of energy conversion systems, particularly in the area of high-density data centers and high-performance buildings, and the development of advanced electronics cooling technologies. He has co-authored two books in the ASHRAE Datacom Series, authored or coauthored over thirty journal and peer-reviewed conference publications in the areas of building simulation and energy efficient data centers and has been granted fourteen United States patents. He is the Vice Chair and a voting member of ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 on Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment. He is also the Finance Chair for the IEEE ITherm (Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems) conference. His work has been awarded numerous honors.

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 is a Professional Engineer with more than 15 years experience, with the last 10 years coming at TiePoint-bkm and BKM where he focused on data centers and critical infrastructure projects. Brian specializes in central plant design and operations, and is well-versed in industrial level building automation systems. Brian earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from Salisbury University in 2006.  He is licensed in multiple states, holds a commissioning certification, and is a LEED accredited professional.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Mark Malkin

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