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Data centre high rise office building exterior at night

Momentum - Air Quality Dispersion Modelling for Data Centre

Project Momentum involved the development of data centres – or mission critical facilities – in Didcot, Bracknell and Swindon. Since the back-up generators will be fuelled by diesel, we were appointed to carry out an air quality assessment to support our client's planning and environmental permit applications.

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Project name

Project Momentum

 

Client

Confidential

Location

Didcot, Swindon and Bracknell

 

Services provided

- Air quality assessment

View of data centre server racks

Solution

Assessing the impacts using the Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling System (ADMS), we ran the model assuming that the generators operate all year round to predict concentrations using meteorological data collected over 5 years and at a nearby weather station. We compared the model predictions with the short-term limit values and objectives for this highly conservative scenario. Where these were met, we were confident the air quality effects were not likely to be significant. This was the case for all pollutants except nitrogen dioxide.

As the short-term limit value and objective for nitrogen dioxide was not met for this highly conservative scenario, the next step required some complex statistical analysis. Having run the model in every hour of the year, we determined the probability of the operational hours coinciding with the meteorological conditions that give rise to the highest hourly concentrations. As the probability of this coincidence was low an exceedance was considered unlikely.

 

3

Data centre sites

56

Back-up diesel generators

66

Designated ecological sites assessed for impact

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