Installation of YellowDucts over server cabinets
7 April 2022
About the project
FCA S.A. performed a non-standard installation of cable ducts over Apra-Optinet server cabinets in the facility of Orange Polska. The installation consisted in mounting the support structure for the ducts and mesh ladders to the roofs of the server racks. For the project we used cable ducts known under the brand name Yellow Ducts manufactured by Warren & Brown Technologies and mesh ladders manufactured by BAKS. The proposed fixing method was accepted by the customer and received a positive opinion. It allowed us to use this mounting method in next projects, which currently include a total of 150 m of ducts and 80 m of mesh troughs installed in five completed projects.
Orange Polska S.A. is the leader on the Polish market of fixed-line telephony, Internet and data transmission. As the only operator, Orange offers comprehensive telecommunications solutions available throughout the country.
What are cable ducts?
Fiber optic cable ducts are a set of plastic elements designed for securing and leading cable routes in telecommunication switchboards and data centers. Cable ducts are usually installed above server and telecommunication cabinets or under the tele-technical floor. This unique solution was created to ensure safe routing of patchcords (safe bending radius of the fiber, no sharp edges), orderly distribution of connections between cabinets and flexible expansion of fiber optic networks in the future.
During a site inspection of the Data Center facility it was determined that the technical conditions of the old building made it impossible to attach ducts to the ceiling above the cold aisle*. Why? The layer of plaster which covered the ceiling was very thick and made it impossible to mount anchors (mounting elements). Another obstacle was the very small space between the server racks and the ceiling, which was a hindrance for the installers.
To sum up, a standard installation to the ceiling would not meet the technical requirements and would be difficult to perform. Our Product Manager together with the Installer found a solution for this.
The solution – attaching Yellow Ducts to the roof of network cabinets by FCA installers.
Our specialists verified the problem and proposed a solution that had not been used before. It consisted in building a common supporting structure for the ducts and mesh ladders. The structure is supported on the roofs of the cabinets and fixed with screws. Apra-Optinet’s standard solution is to mount the bolts on the roofs of the cabinets as a fixing for the mesh ducts.
The FCA solution consists of mounting the ducts and mesh channels on channel sections. The channel sections are screwed to the roofs of the cabinets and form a guide system for placing the vertical booms on them as constructions. The developed fastening and the generated additional load of the cabinets with ducts and troughs is transferred evenly to the supporting structure of the cabinets. The load is distributed evenly and does not cause damage to the cabinet roofs.
In which buildings should this type of installation be used?
- Premises in which the ceiling is of weak construction.
- Buildings where the ceiling is made of construction elements which have empty spaces inside. Such building materials are not a strong point of fixing (e.g. ceilings made of Ackerman blocks).
- When the ceiling is not perfectly horizontal or has many supporting elements (ceiling joists supporting the ceiling).
- Rooms in which the ceiling is very high (above 2m) above the server racks. For this reason, fixing to the ceiling is not functional and is very expensive due to the amount of material needed for installation.
- Rooms where the ceiling is very low and the cold/hot aisle construction was completed before the ducts were installed.
Customer benefits from the new installation method.
- The installation does not depend on the type and strength of the ceiling and the distance between the roofs of the cabinets and the ceiling.
- Data center facilities are equipped with systems monitoring the level of dust, for this reason it is crucial to maintain cleanliness in such a facility. Thanks to the lack of necessity to drill into the ceiling, the facility is not contaminated with dust.
- No need to move lamps mounted on the ceiling which interfere with the installation. Thanks to this, the installation is less time-consuming.
- The developed installation method takes into account a very ergonomic arrangement of cable routes.
- The operator laying the patch cord has free access to the duct and trough. The mounting system always leaves one-sided open access to the troughs eliminating the unnecessary insertion of cables through brackets or threaded rods hanging from the ceiling.
We carried out further implementations
– “The pilot installation was accepted and positively received by Orange Poland. We have already made 4 more localizations using the tested assembly method. In the nearest plans there are two more realizations” – says Piotr Kowaliński, Product Manager in FCA.
Contact our Expert
Would you like to know more details concerning the new way of duct installation?
Feel free to contact our Expert, who will be happy to provide you with more information.
*Cold aisle – a type of enclosure development that improves the cooling performance of IT equipment mounted in racks through directed airflow.