Long downtimes due to external circumstances are undoubtedly the worst-case scenario for many companies. This is particularly true for data center operators who assure customers they can access their "stored" data at any and all times. However, circumstances can make that a difficult promise to keep. For example, technical faults on IT components are a frequent cause of fires, while the heat emitted by IT racks and the high energy density of the installed electric plants pose an increased fire risk. This highly sensitive environment calls for a smart fire safety concept that can prevent fires in the first place and, if the worst comes to the worst, fight them - all without having to shut everything down and incur losses as a result. The fire safety experts at Wagner Group set out to develop just such a system and are exhibiting the results at CeBIT 2017 in Hannover - a solution that has been customized specifically for the needs of data centers.
The solution is based on a combination of active fire prevention and rapid suppression. It starts with the OxyReduct fire prevention system, which lowers oxygen levels in the protected area to make it difficult for a fire to develop while ensuring the area is still accessible to personnel. The energy-efficient OxyReduct system generates the nitrogen needed to do this as required from the ambient air. If a fire does start to develop, the FirExting gas extinguisher system is activated. This system reduces the atmospheric oxygen content as quickly as possible to the point where combustion of the materials predominantly used in IT systems is halted. The OxyReduct module can also then hold the oxygen concentration at this extinguishing level, theoretically for an unlimited period of time. This prevents reignition without forcing the operators to shut down power to the area.