Six Steps for Data Center Substation Commissioning

To ensure a high performing facility, data center operators should take special care during data center commissioning. By following six basic steps for data center substation commissioning, you can address your project’s unique requirements. Proper substation commissioning positions your data center for successful operation once it goes online.

A utility substation provides electrical power to a large, dedicated data center and distributes this power throughout the facility.

The most important goal of data center substation commissioning always involves completing the process safely without harming people or equipment. After this primary goal, you want to conduct commissioning according to schedule and within budget.

The following guidelines can help you perform load bank testing for successful commissioning of a data center substation:

  1. Enlist a load bank solutions vendor to provide equipment and services for commissioning a substation to a dedicated data center. An experienced provider can deliver the best technology for your project, along with all the cabling and labor, for a turn-key solution.
  1. Assemble a team of commissioning personnel, including load bank vendor certified technicians, equipment manufacturer representatives, general contractor, electrical contractor, owner’s representatives, design engineers, and other staff as needed.
  1. Coordinate activities among all team members, including contractors, to minimize duplicating effort. Determine the testing schedule and highlight when all load bank equipment must be ready for testing on-site. Make sure the vendor can deliver the load bank equipment and cabling. They must also supply enough technicians for installation and configuration.
  1. Perform an initial site walk with the load bank vendor to ensure you use the right load type and capacity to test the data center’s systems. An experienced load bank provider will propose alternative solutions, such as medium voltage and low voltage load banks. You will need to evaluate the cost and benefit trade-offs of the different load bank options.
  1. Whatever load bank provider you select, make sure they have a good quality procedure for testing their equipment. Failed equipment due to poor quality can affect your commissioning schedule.
  1. Document all testing procedures, any issues that surfaced, and how these issues got resolved. Load bank testing not only takes place during data center substation commissioning. To ensure the highest performance levels, you need to conduct ongoing load testing as part of your preventative maintenance program. Regularly testing your equipment under full loads can uncover serious issues and ensure your equipment remains available when needed.

Data center substation commissioning confirms a facility meets the design intent and the owner’s requirements. During the commissioning process, load bank solutions verify the electrical and thermal systems operate per specifications.

When conducted properly, commissioning ensures a reliable and resilient operation. With in-depth load testing expertise, your load bank provider can help:

  • Deliver the right equipment and on-site personnel to conduct load testing
  • Accurately forecast potential problems and develop contingency plans
  • Minimize the consequences of any issues with vendors who adhere to strict quality standards.

To learn more, visit ComRent’s application selector. You can see our breadth of solutions and narrow down your options. You can filter products based on AC or DC current and types, such as capacitive only, inductive only, resistive only, resistive/inductive and other types.

ComRent’s team of experts is ready to help ensure your system is successfully interconnected. Our complimentary consultation includes a review your project and our team will propose the right load bank solution for your requirements. Contact us today.

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