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Earthing system

Importance of Good Earthing System for Data Centres

The Critical Role of Electrical Earthing in Data Centres

It is said that Data is the oil of the 21st Century, an immensely, untapped valuable asset. We’re in a digital economy where data is more valuable than ever.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft says “Everything is going to be connected to cloud and data and Data centres shall be our mediators” Data Centres are critical infrastructures that host an immense amount of digital data, and they are vital for the functioning of today’s businesses and society as a whole. Without it, progress would halt. These facilities require an uninterrupted power supply to operate efficiently, and any disruption to this supply can result in significant financial losses and downtime. Electrical earthing is one of the most critical components of the power supply infrastructure, and its importance cannot be overstated.

Illustration featuring surge protection equipment in a data centre setting, highlighting the necessity of an effective earthing mechanism for redirecting po

Data Centre Interior with Marconite Earthing System

Data centres contain a vast number of sensitive electronic devices, including servers, switches, and routers. These devices are susceptible to damage from voltage spikes and surges caused by lightning strikes, power surges, or electrical faults. Electrical earthing provides a path of least resistance for these excess currents to flow to the ground, protecting the equipment and ensuring uninterrupted data centre operation.

Data centres also need to comply with various regulations and standards related to electrical safety and grounding. Compliance with these standards is critical for maintaining the safe and efficient operation of data centres. Non-compliance can lead to costly fines, litigation, and reputational damage.

We all know how much dependent we are on digital technology these days. Commercial or operational activities cannot take place if the computers or the data centres are out of action. Take any field banking, ticketing, bookings, processing etc, automation had tightly hooked us with data systems. A few minutes of data centre downtime can have unimaginable consequences for a firm’s credibility and profitability. Reputation too gets at stake. This demands, sound Electrical Earthing Protection which can help to ensure safety against events such as lightening strikes and power surges to avoid data loss and severe damage to highly sensitive data centre equipment. Therefore, electrical earthing is a nerve system for the operations of data centres.

When we talk about earthing system importance in data centres, there are a few points that make it vital to have a sound earthing system, let us see, what those points are:

  • Usage of Shielded Cabling

Shielded cabling is used in data centres to prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) in data transmission. The functioning of the shielded cable requires earthing to work effectively. The shield functioning as a Faraday Cage prevents EMI from reaching the internal signal wire. However, if it is not correctly earthed through a reliable and stable earthing system, there is a risk of an induced voltage in the shield. Which, can itself produce interference in the signal.

  • Risks and Solutions: Earth Loops in Data Centre Environments

When two or more earthing connections are at slightly different voltages, the earth loops exist. They happen because of the very low impedance in the earthing cables. Even a minimal voltage difference will be sufficient to create a current looping through the equipment. Therefore, back through the earth. If we find any “hum” sound in the audio equipment, this is due to these earth loops only. These earth loops have more severe consequences for data transmission.

While conventional electrical earthing systems are widely used in data centres to reduce the risk of earth loops, there is a growing case for grounding the racks and cabinets separately to minimize the impact of power surges. However, this is a complex matter that demands careful engineering, and it is essential to ensure that the electrical earthing system design is in line with the data centre’s overall design. Furthermore, it is crucial that all electrical earthing connections throughout the data centre are easily accessible.

  • Surge Protection: A Vital Aspect of Data Centre Security

Data centre equipment is highly intricate and delicate. In most cases, surge protection is already integrated into modern electronic equipment to ensure its reliability. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) used in data centres for backup power in case of a brief power outage, for instance, typically incorporate metal oxide varistors (MOV) that utilise semiconductors to direct excess voltage to the ground. This type of surge protection guards against power spikes when other electric equipment, like pumps and refrigeration equipment, is activated. Other forms of surge suppressors such as transient voltage surge suppressors (TVSS) may also be employed to safeguard data centre equipment.

However, it is crucial to note that all types of surge suppressors function by redirecting the power surge to the ground, necessitating an effective earthing mechanism. It is also incorrect to presume that because some of the equipment in a data centre has built-in surge protection, the entire data centre is safeguarded against all potential risks.

In addition to protecting equipment, electrical earthing also ensures the safety of personnel working in and around the data centre. The electrical grounding system prevents electric shocks by redirecting any stray electrical currents to the ground, reducing the risk of injury or death from electrical shock.

  • Conclusion

Electrical earthing is a critical component of the power supply infrastructure for data centres. A safe and sound earthing system can minimize the downtime of data centres, saving financial losses. It protects electronic equipment from damage due to voltage spikes and surges, ensures the safety of personnel working in and around the data centre, and provides a safe path for the lightning current to flow to the ground. Compliance with electrical safety and grounding standards is essential for maintaining the safe and efficient operation of data centres.

We, at Intertech, are committed to providing you with the best earthing system in the world, i.e; Marconite earthing which can protect your equipment & the precious life of human beings from electrical surges and short circuits by way of offering the best earthing solution available in the world.

For more information on how you can protect your data centre from electrical short circuits and electrical surges, Contact our Technical Support Team.

To Get World's Best Earthing Solution - Marconite Earthing


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