Nov 9, 2015
Fidelity Investments is a nationwide investment firm with a main location in Merrimack, NH. They are a 24/7 operation with employees working around the clock due to the stock markets around the world.
Fidelity Investments required an AC unit change in a critical infrastructure room which is the main computer room that contains all the company’s networking equipment. The existing AC units were aging and this was a preventative measure.
The goal of the project was to change out each of three AC equipment(s) one at a time without losing load and keeping the temperature steady throughout the duration of the project. MSI Mechanical at the very onset of the project had the implementation strategy worked out.
Each AC system would consist of one CRAC (Computer Room and AC Unit), each system would have a dry cooler on the roof along with a pump package. The goal was to change out the indoor unit one day, and then the next day MSI would change out the pump package and dry cooler package. The goal was to shut-down one unit at a time without losing any of the other units. Piping was to be done on-site to mitigate exposure and down time of the units. These AC units were in the critical areas of Fidelity’s networking. Keeping a steady temperature was essential to avoid overheating the room and equipment.
As we began the project things started off smoothly until we realized that all three of the AC units were connected to each other and on the same controller; meaning that if you disconnected one unit as originally planned, each AC unit would shut down leaving Fidelity without any AC in the most critical area of their daily operation.
Our team quickly designed a new operating system which would not only solve the issue of the swapping out of AC units, but for future operational functionality of the AC units. Instead of wiring each AC unit together, we designed a temporary controller outside so that each unit could run individually – this allowed us to quickly swap out the units without shutting all the units off.
By the end of the project, we redesigned the wiring controls which allowed each AC unit to feed individually versus all being tied into one. We also cleaned up the layout of the piping and consolidated the layout.
The challenge was not known at the beginning of the project and was not raised by the Fidelity Engineering Department because they didn’t know this type of wiring was completed by the previous HVAC company that initially installed the units.
While the units were currently working properly, had Fidelity not been proactive in swapping out the aging units and MSI noticing the problem before bumping the AC units offline a much different crisis situation could have played out for them.
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