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Case Study: noris network

Europe's Most Modern Data Centre Uses Innovative Fire Protection Technology

In 2018, WAGNER equipped a noris network data center in Nuremberg with a trend-setting fire protection solution. After an oxygen reduction system had already been installed by the fire protection experts in 2002, an additional nitrogen extinguishing system was installed during the modernization of the data center.

In the noris data centers in Nuremberg South and Munich East, huge heat exchanger wheels, the so-called KyotoCooling®, ensure energy-friendly free cooling. What pays off in terms of costs in normal operation is a major challenge for fire protection. Due to natural leakages at the Kyoto wheels, extinguishing gas would continuously escape from the data center if the nitrogen extinguishing system were triggered. Reliable extinguishing could not be guaranteed. The holistic solution of the WAGNER engineers: the two-stage concept.

WAGNER Group GmbH has been working successfully with noris network AG for many years. In 2002, the fire protection experts installed the first OxyReduct® system as a classic fire prevention system at noris. Further projects followed until noris decided in 2018 to modernize the first system and make it even more energy-efficient. A nitrogen extinguishing system was installed and the concept fundamentally changed. In the 11,000 m² data center, the oxygen content is now no longer permanently lowered. Instead, oxygen reduction is used to maintain the extinguishable nitrogen concentration after the extinguishing system is triggered - similar to the data centers with KyotoCooling®.

Nuremberg-based noris network AG has been building and operating modern, highly secure data centers since 1993. The company is thus one of the German pioneers in the field of modern IT services. Its portfolio includes customized ICT solutions in the areas of IT outsourcing, cloud services, and network & security.

Energy-Optimised Cooling Technology Poses Challenges for Fire Protection

Risk Analysis

  • High energy density
    Despite a system for cooling the IT infrastructure, the heat emitted by IT racks is still very high.
  • Electrical components
    High fire risk due to high energy density of power supply units, control cabinets and computer systems.
  • Technical defects
    Defective devices and components as well as overloaded power supplies can start a fire.

Protection Goals

  • Personal protection
    Employees must be protected from fire in the best possible way.
  • High availability
    A potential fire development must be brought under control and contained immediately.
  • Business process
    In the event of a fire, it should be ensured that IT processes are not interrupted and that it is not necessary to switch off the power.
  • No power shut-down
    No disconnection of the power supply to ensure constant availability of the data centre even in case of fire.
  • Customer relationship
    Image damage due to fire must be avoided.

Strong Combination: Gas Extinguishing Technology with Oxygen Reduction

The solution for noris network's fire protection requirements is the two-stage concept. It impresses with high energy efficiency and maximum safety:

The protected area is continuously monitored by TITANUS® air sampling smoke detectors. If they detect a fire at the earliest possible stage of development, the oxygen level is first lowered to a reduced target concentration by triggering the nitrogen extinguishing system. The oxygen-reduced areas remain accessible for staff to search for and eliminate the cause. This target concentration can be maintained for any length of time by using the OxyReduct® oxygen reduction system, because the system's nitrogen generators generate the required nitrogen directly on site from the ambient air, thus compensating for losses due to leaks at the building and the Kyoto wheels. By reducing the oxygen concentration, a significantly reduced fire behaviour is achieved, so that, ideally, a fire goes out immediately. The data center does not have to be shut down; the data remains available even in the event of an incident.

If the TITANUS® systems continue to detect a fire, further pressurised gas containers are triggered and the oxygen concentration is lowered even further, so that the fire goes out immediately here, too. This second target concentration can also be maintained by OxyReduct® for any length of time until all causes of the fire have been eliminated - even beyond the holding time of 10 minutes required by the VdS for gas extinguishing systems. Two noris data centers are already equipped with this two-stage fire protection concept, which is coordinated with KyotoCooling®.

Customer Benefits

  • Safe
    Early fire detection with false alarm protection.
  • Highly available
    Maximum availability of computing power and data - no power shut-offs.
  • Operator-friendly
    Permanent accessibility of the data centre - even in the event of an incident.
  • Flexible
    Flexible planning scope: fire protection solution can be adapted flexible to the new conditions in case of expansion.

Customer Testimonial

Ingo Kraupa, Chairman of noris network AG

The combination of the very early fire detection, pressure-reduced and thus safe oxygen reduction, as well as the inertisation of the protected area with OxyReduct®, that allows us to bridge the time to refill extinguishing cylinders, had us convinced completely.


Interested in individual fire protection solutions in the data center? We will be happy to advise you!

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