STIHL headquarters Case Study
New build data centre
Virginia Beach-based STIHL Inc., one of several manufacturing facilities in the STIHL Group, is the headquarters for U.S. operations. STIHL Inc. employs over 2,100 people nationwide, with more than 1,900 in Virginia Beach, Va., in a variety of positions from manufacturing, product assembly, manufacturing engineering, sales and marketing, and finance. The Virginia Beach facility is located on approximately 150 acres with over two million square feet under roof, where the company produces a full line of highquality, handheld outdoor power equipment including blowers, trimmers, brushcutters, and multi-task tools, as well as the number one selling brand of chainsaws worldwide.
In 2012 STIHL were having a new 200kW data centre designed for their Virginia Beach Headquarters. Following extensive consultation it was decided that a water cooled system was to be their preferred option.
The design specification had to meet tough criteria, including low energy consumption from a renewable source in line with their environmental policy, N+1 redundancy and due to their geographical location for the building and cooling solution to withstand a hurricane without any downtime to their operations.
The ColdLogik team designed the most energy efficient solution for STIHL and thanks to their access to a natural underground water supply, water was taken via a bore hole from the underground springs with a nearby lake used as a back up resource this solution was naturally hurricane proof as no water towers or external plant would be required. Because the data centre cooling solution source was below ground the water supply temperature was a constant 64.4°F allowing for all year round free cooling therefore benefiting hugely on cost savings as it took less than 7.5kW to cool 200kW IT heat load.
The back up water source at the nearby lake had large coil heat exchangers deployed and a reverse cycle heat pump, this meant during the winter months the supply could switch so waste heat from the data centre could be recycled to heat their building free of charge.
This environmentally friendly low cost cooling option works so well with the borehole water supply, all the data centre cooling is free, efficient and safe.
A second data centre will be utilising this solution to maximise energy resources.