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maincubes is building another sustainable-by-design colocation data center in Schwalbach near Frankfurt. The new facility will have an innovative indirect free cooling concept that operates on a closed circuit basis, efficient UPS systems that use green power, and a waste heat recovery system is also planned. Operations at the maincubes FRA02 data center are to commence in summer 2023. It provides approx. 7,000 m2 of white space for IT plus office space, and has a power capacity of 20 MW. The facility offers both secure and climate-friendly IT infrastructure housing to its tenants. “FRA02 will extend our European data center network with a focus on sustainability, allowing us to make an important contribution to the green digital transformation. This isn’t simply our answer to the regulations on reducing CO2 emissions that affect all infrastructure providers, it is intrinsic to our CSR vision,” said Oliver Menzel, CEO of maincubes. “Our goal is to achieve climate-neutral data center operations with our own resources.”
A perfect location
Schwalbach am Taunus, just outside Frankfurt, was chosen as the location for FRA02, both for its excellent local power and telecommunications infrastructures and because the necessary framework for sustainable data center operations exists there. On the one hand there are renewable energies available that maincubes can procure directly from the power companies. On the other, maincubes has the support of the Schwalbach local authority, which is keen to attract sustainable digital infrastructure companies. maincubes is investing hundreds of millions of euros in FRA02. It is even possible that a digital campus will be developed in the business park.
Besides obtaining power from regenerative energy sources and the use of energy efficient technologies, a key aspect of FRA02’s climate-friendly design is the cooling concept, which comprises a cooling wall system. Cooling wall technology uses large heat exchangers with chilled water flowing through them for air conditioning. The air-conditioning concept also includes the preliminary setup for server rack water cooling and immersion cooling in case any tenants wish to use them for their IT infrastructure. The data center will be DIN-EN50600 VK3 certified, although it actually surpasses certification requirements for power supply to achieve availability class IV (VK4) in some sections. “To maximize energy efficiency and guarantee availability we maintain an uninterruptable power supply via rotating UPS systems in a special configuration – the so-called isolated parallel bus (IP bus) – and a kinetic flywheel energy storage unit in place of a battery. This UPS system was designed with a special high-availability redundancy for the IP bus,” explained Albrecht Kraas, CTO at maincubes.
Maximum security and data protection standards
For data center tenants, the issues of data protection and physical security are just as important as climate-friendly IT infrastructures. Reflecting maincubes’ outstanding performance in all these areas, a public sector IT client has already committed to FRA02, and it will occupy the greater part of the facility, even though construction has not yet commenced. Physical and electronic access control systems with biometric security features, an active security fence, access gates for people and vehicles, as well as extensive organizational measures will prevent unauthorized access and guarantee the comprehensive protection of the digital infrastructure.
“We are excited to have won the confidence of a major tenant for our new FRA02 facility before construction has even started. They selected maincubes as their hosting partner both for the high-availability data center setup, and because they were looking for a strategic sustainability partner. Sustainability is a key issue that we all have to assume responsibility for, and maincubes hopes to set an example in this respect. Together with our new and existing data center tenants and our network of partners we intend to play a pro-active role in driving the green digital transformation,” added Oliver Menzel.
maincubes is already planning to build additional sustainable data centers in the Rhine-Main region.