Jodi Holland

Recent Posts

Powering Up For Business

by Jodi Holland on 4/22/21 2:35 PM

While DVL is known as a data center solutions company, as that is proudly our area of specialty, our expertise extends past this topic when it comes to the universally critical component of power management. And, as such, power distribution needs go far beyond the data center into a host of industries. Elements that make up power distributions solutions can include generators, all the way down to power requirements driven by the application. Data centers often define this within integrated IT Racks, but in other industrial facilities, that could mean just about anything.

Starline Track Busway is a revolutionary answer to the question of just how to distribute power easily throughout your facility(ies). Typically, power distribution solutions have only provided inefficient and potentially hazardous options, especially when you consider it in the context of getting the power to specific end-user application points. However, now, Starline’s flexibility and ease of use can help eliminate the need for multiple homeruns, pipe and wire, etc., and simplify configurations by incorporating multiple components. Even changes to the layout of your facility come easy when configured with Busway capabilities.

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This flexible power distribution system consists of enclosed CU and/or AL electrical conductors. It also has a continuous open-channel bottom access design which allows a virtual infinite number of electrical connection spots to insert plug-in units in order to deliver power at the exact point of use. The amount of pipes and wires you’ll need will be drastically reduced as the Busway gets power to exactly where you need it. In addition, cost-effective distribution options are offered that allow you to tailor your facility with literally millions of configurations. Its multiple plug-in units, which can also be tailored, have a “plug n’ play” design that enables safer access to the power, with the possibility of countless customizations to satisfy your business's always-changing needs.

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As mentioned, there is much need for solutions like the Starline Busway outside of the data center world. For example, it lends extremely well to the automotive industry when it comes to assembly lines and airbag productions. And, even last year, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, when some automotive facilities were being repurposed to answer the call for more ventilators. An automotive production line that uses the Starline Busway for facility recently reported that when they needed to change the configuration of their assembly line with new applications and new equipment, it only took 55 minutes to reconfigure the Busway system to support these new changes. The customer was absolutely astonished with this short turnaround as alternative solutions would have required 3 weeks of work when you add up the actual labor and additional paperwork and permissions from different departments that an alternate solution would demand.

It becomes clear that the Busway system is a game-changer for dynamic environments where floorplans are always changing and turning over. Therefore, a retail setting would greatly benefit from this solution as stores and showrooms, both big and small, are routinely reworking their floorplans as they usher in new seasons and merchandise. In addition to being able to change the location of the fixtures, displays, and cash registers, the Busway can also allow for lighting options to become more versatile. Lighting fixtures can be hung directly from the busway housing without requiring additional grid support. Similarly, the system is hard wired to support track lighting, security cameras, speakers, occupancy sensors, and exit and other store signage.

When it comes to other industries, the busway is great for powering up fleets of forklifts in distribution centers, it can support clean-rooms and most research and development applications in the Bio-Pharm setting, while in schools the busway is ideal for computer rooms, welding shops, and college laboratories, and lastly, in restaurants it can offer flexibility for point-of-sales, kitchen, and dining room configurations. In addition, the busway is really starting to prove itself a great fit for up-and-coming ventures such as E-Car Charging in parking garages and vertical farming.

For more information about the benefits and options of the Starline Busway, check out our recent webinar in which we discuss the Busway with experts from Starline.Watch Webinar

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Topics: power distribution, starline

Out of Site, Out of Mind, Out of...Power

by Jodi Holland on 3/29/21 12:12 PM

Industrial generators are an organization’s lifeline to keep business running in the most critical of situations. In the instance of Healthcare facilities, their lifeline variable extends all the way to saving lives. With this type of responsibility, you’d think an organization’s standby power solution or plan would be continuously top-of-mind, but this is not always the case. Unfortunately, the old saying “out of sight, out of mind” usually proves to be true.

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In many instances, industrial generators aren’t thought about until they are actually needed. And the other 99.9% of the time, they’re just sitting “out back” collecting cobwebs or worse—critters. That is, until the next emergency situation when the power goes out and suddenly, the generator is expected to be the star of the show. No time for a dress rehearsal, it’s opening night, and the curtains are opening if you’re ready or not.

So, what happens in that emergency situation if the lights fail to come back on??? It happens more often than Facilities Managers would like to imagine. But why is this the case? Isn’t a generator supposed to save you and your facility in your time of need? Yes, but you have to meet it halfway. The number one reason a generator fails to generate power during these critical times? Lack of maintenance.

Like every other piece of your critical infrastructure, your standby power solutions need tender love and care. Just like your car before going on a long road-trip, you want to make sure your vehicle is in good working condition, with enough gas and oil to get you where you’re going. Otherwise, you run the risk of being left stranded on the side of the road. Or in the case of the generator, left in the dark of your building when it’s without power (and losing revenue… or worse).

Maintenance programs comes in many forms, and dictated by either the nature of your business (i.e. Healthcare having specific requirements defined by HIPAA and NFPA) or your organizationally defined plans. Some look at a once-a-year check-up as being sufficient, but that's just the bare-minimum. Okay, at least you’re acknowledging it’s existence, but we at DVL recommend a check-up at least once a year as the better you are with the maintenance, the less time you’ll have to spend there, and also, the life of your equipment will be extended. Above all, however, you will have piece of mind knowing that it hasn’t been anywhere close to 364 days since a trained factory technician took a look at your equipment. Therefore, quarterly or even monthly check-ups are recommended, which are preventative maintenance program that exist for the more critical of facilities.

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These visits include a variety of steps, beginning with Jobsite Safety Assessments.  If you’re not intimately familiar with industrial generators, they can be dangerous. Our factory-trained DVL Technicians advise customers to do cursory checks around the GenSet areas, but to leave the more technical of steps to certified professionals. Our teams go beyond “run tests” by checking filters, fluid levels, and performing batter checks; along with manufacturer defined diagnostic tests.

In our recent #BeyondTheProduct podcast, we sat down with Generator Service experts to discuss the details and more. Give a listen, or check out information on DVL product and service options from Generac Industrial Power on our website.

Listen to the Podcast

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Topics: service, generator, hospitals, standby power

The Science of Cooling

by Jodi Holland on 2/1/21 1:06 PM

You know electronic and industrial equipment produces unwanted heat, and these levels continue to rise to dangerous levels. This presents the problem of removing the heat
generated before damage can occur to sensitive parts of critical IT, Communications, and Networking gear. Some cases allow for a simple ventilation solution, but you need more than an oscillating dime store fan in the world of IT applications.

Most IT applications exist in an environment where the available ambient air is contaminated or too warm to be used for the safe dissipation of unwanted heat. You want to keep your equipment life expectancy high, and not adversely effect sensitive components causing equipment malfunctions, slowdowns or failures. To create the optimum environment for the application, an evaluation of the anticipated operating conditions and thermal requirements of the equipment (or system) must be completed.IT-Cooling-Technology-1

Many organizations are taking a more scientific approach to cooling. The goal is to understand the science and techniques of effective data center cooling management. This includes the ability to quantify the changes necessary, to identify the appropriate best
practice, and to implement the airflow management strategy in the computer room.
By approaching next-generation cooling solutions as a science, you can:

  • identify isolated airflow issues negatively affecting IT reliability,
  • increase cooling capacity to allow for installation of more IT equipment, and
  • learn how to defer capital expenditures on computer center cooling equipment.

So, when considering a variety of cooling technologies, what questions should you ask to get the information you need? Check out our IT Cooling Technology Guide to get started.

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Check Out the Guide
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Topics: Data Center, cooling, vertiv

Beyond the Product Service

by Jodi Holland on 7/28/20 8:22 AM

As the summer temperatures remain in the “highly uncomfortable range”, there is a tendency for Facilities Operators to be thinking more about their HVAC Systems. However, the concerns of these systems shouldn’t just be limited to our hottest season. The key to keeping your operations running smoothly year-round can be found in partnering a consistent strategy with an experienced Service team. This will allow you to maximize the lifecycle of your Thermal equipment, a goal of every facility.

When new HVAC equipment is installed, you might be thinking that since its brand new, you can just let it do its thing and be out of sight and out of mind since it doesn’t need to be maintained. Beware of this mistake. After start-up, it’s good to plan ahead for a short-term periodic assessment to baseline important details like temperature consistency and humidity levels assuring acceptable water and air qualities. In subsequent years, keeping the infrastructure properly maintained will allow for a longer equipment lifespan. At this point, the objective is to keep an efficiently running system and looking for signs of potential component failures down the road. It’s all about being proactive, and keeping a watchful eye provided by factory trained technicians.denver service team

The technicians you have serve and monitor your HVAC are a big variable in this equation. You may have members of your team capable of some functions, but it is highly recommended that you outsource a company that specializes in your type of equipment. At DVL, all technicians are factory trained on Vertiv™ Liebert® solutions and improve their product knowledge through continuing education opportunities provided by internal programs at both Vertiv and DVL. While there are many companies providing HVAC service, utilizing the expertise of a company that is focused on the specifics of your facility can have positive, far-reaching outcomes including a better understanding of ‘normal operations’ to a keener eye for trouble-shooting. 

Properly maintained equipment shouldn’t get to the point where it quits on you out of the blue. That’s why scheduled Preventative Maintenance is suggested on a quarterly basis. And in between those visits? Our DVL technicians aim to empower you, the equipment owner, to recognize potential issues that might lead to something worse down the line. Again, it’s all about being proactive. This can be achieved through simple steps such as walking the equipment footprint monthly or by checking certain monitored details at a predefined cadence.

These are just some of the tactics that can help extend an HVAC system’s lifespan, but how long of a service life are we talking? Sanja Motz, DVL’s Vice President of Service Operations, advises that a reasonable expectation is in the window of 12-15 years. Yes, this equipment (especially the Vertiv Liebert brands) is built to last many years; and our DVL services teams see some units out in the field that are 15 years strong “cooler than the other side of the pillow.” Still, even though your equipment might be mechanically sound, there does come a point of diminishing efficiency at which point you would be inevitably wasting money from how you manage the equipment. Less-efficient equipment will cost more money to operate, require more manpower to maintain, and will use more electricity compared to newer equipment being built today. If you consider rearchitecting to take advantage of the advancements in technology, which will yield greater efficiency, a proper analysis is recommended to review current performance details against any expected benefits of change. 

Vertiv Rooftop CondenserAdditionally, air quality is another major factor in HVAC operations and efficiency that you need to consider. This variable is impacted by both internal and external factors, and many people don’t think about half of their HVAC equipment being outdoors. The outside pieces of your infrastructure take a beating from the elements, atmosphere, animals, and even people. Indoor equipment brings focus onto the air filter, outdoor equipment emphasizes where the heat is being rejected. In the winter months it’s easier to reject the heat outside because the temperature differential is greater, but in the summer, when it’s hot and condensing temperatures around that same temperature, your equipment simply has to work harder to reject the heat. Therefore, this is the time when it’s most important to keep that equipment clean. Otherwise, compressors, which are usually the costliest part to replace and will require the most labor to install, start to fail.

Recently, Sanja sat down with Michael Hagan (Director of Thermal Services) and Matthew Hudspeth (Thermal Operations Lead Technician) on the DVL Power Hour webinar, Don't Lose Your Cool(ing) to discuss these topics, as well as their expert tips on how equipment owners can benefit from their own routine HVAC equipment checks. This includes providing insights into specific steps you can take in the summer to ensure outdoor debris and temperatures don’t hinder your critical infrastructure from operating at the highest possible reliability level.

In closing, be mindful that components of a successful maintenance program should include:

  • Checking/Replacing filters
  • Inspect Thermostat
  • Inspect for duct leaks
  • Lubricating Components
  • Cleaning Evaporator and Condenser Coils
  • Dampers, Fire, Virtual
  • Drain Pans, Blower Motor, Heat Exchanger
  • Refrigerant levels checked (leaks?), recharged (if needed)
  • Inspect Electrical Components
  • Fan motor and blades are inspected and lubricated
  • Control box, switches, wiring, and safety controls are inspected

Previously Recorded DVL Webinars

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Topics: efficient data center, HVAC, cooling, webinar

Understanding the Critical Infrastructure Behind Healthcare Facilities

by Jodi Holland on 4/23/20 3:22 PM

In recent years, the IT world has been seeing a movement to the Edge across most industries, especially in the realms of Finance, Legal, and Healthcare. Now, the Coronavirus pandemic has added a new variable to the Edge equation for Healthcare, as facilities across the country are constructing additions to their hospitals in support of testing and providing care. A recent DVL webinar addressed this rising concern, with many of the products and solutions discussed (and here below) being applicable to Edge environments in any industry.

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Unfortunately, there is no playbook for building these temporary facilities. While they do require the same types of critical infrastructure as facilities we’re used to creating, they demand an even greater sense of confidence in their operability. The aspects of building out temporary facilities are not terribly different than what is typically driving the demands of Healthcare IT: Electronic Records Management, Artificial Intelligence, and communications amongst staff and with patients and staff. The critical infrastructure supporting these applications must take into account an additional set of considerations for these temporary facilities:

  • Footprint Size
  • Power Requirements
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Procurement & Installation
  • Deployment Timeframe
  • Infrastructure Monitoring

If a Playbook were to exist on this topic, it would include chapters like:

  • Defining your specific applications
  • What do those applications require to operate
  • How do those requirements translate into critical infrastructure, and
  • How to build your infrastructure for efficient operations.

This is where DVL can be helpful to your project. Our commitment to going “Beyond the Product” means we don’t just sell you equipment and move to the next customer. Rather, we are here to help you connect the dots and present you with solutions to meet your objectives. Each project is its own unique venture as we work with you to define and understand everything from power and cooling requirements driven by your specific IT applications, to what type of rack is best suited for your peace of mind.

Temporary-Healthcare-Facilities-Buying-Guide-1No matter your industry, if you weren’t able to join us for the one-hour webinar, we invite you and your colleagues to watch the recording here. Or, you can download our Buyer's Guide for a better understanding of the aforementioned critical infrastructure considerations.   

Get the Guide by filling out the form below:

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Topics: server room, healthcare, hospitals, beyond the product

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