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Arizona Public Power Utility Picks Aquatherm Pipe for Pilot Data-Center Program

Salt River Project DataStation
Chilled Water
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Tempe, AZ
February 2015

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Ninety-six percent of the Aquatherm piping system was prefabricated, improving the contractor’s tight schedule
  • Aquatherm’s Quick Check Estimator provided an estimate of the project’s total installed costs, showing how much the contractor could save on labor using Aquatherm vs. carbon steel
  • Aquatherm's unique heat-fusion welding technique created a leak-free piping system
SRP small

The Challenge

A pilot modular data-center program needed a leak-free, chilled-water piping system to keep its expensive IT equipment cool and safe

The Solution

A mechanical contractor used Aquatherm’s unique heat-fusion welding method to build a leak-free piping system and a McElroy DataLogger to ensure each connection was fused properly

IMG 0201 smallPCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones, digital TVs—a great deal of energy is consumed connecting the public to the Internet. In fact, the information-communications-technologies ecosystem, also known as the digital economy, uses more than 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year or about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation. Additionally, expending this major amount of energy on the World Wide Web produces a mountain of data to be stored. The International Data Corp. forecasts we will generate 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes) of digital data by 2020.

The leadership at Tempe, AZ-based Salt River Project (SRP), the nation’s oldest—and one of its largest—public power utilities, felt it was imperative they do their part to answer the big questions related to these problems: Where can we stash all of this generated data? And, in turn, how can we decrease the amount of energy used to contain it?

SRP teamed with BaseLayer Technology from Chandler, AZ, to create the SRP DataStation, a first-of-its-kind, next-generation modular data-center infrastructure installed at an existing electric substation in Gilbert, AZ. Connecting the data center directly to the electric grid provides consumers with an unprecedented source of expansive, reliable power and enables local economic development while eliminating the need for extensive overhead power lines.

On the sustainability side, SRP is powering the data center with 100% renewable energy through its Renewable Energy Credit program, which is available to all of SRP’s commercial customers. BaseLayer’s modular technology also has demonstrated efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 19% compared with traditional raised-floor data-center environments.

Additionally, using a modular data-center design saves precious time and money. “Instead of building large, new infrastructures, we’re able to put modular data centers in place within four months of a signed contract. Modular designs reduce project turnaround,” said Robert Fitts, Senior Project Manager at Chandler-based Total Facility Solutions U.S., the mechanical contractor on the pilot SRP DataStation project and a member of UA Local 469. “Also, 50% of a data center’s total costs are saved with a modular design.”