Building A Data Center Power Room in Five Days

An NxPower electrical room module from NxGen Modular is installed at a new data center site. The installation of 1 megawatt of power equipment took just five days.

NxGen Modular has deployed a 1 megawatt power room for a customer in just five days, the company said this week, offering an example of how modular deployment can speed the data center construction process. NxGen Modular launched in October with a flexible “building block” approach that assembles factory-built modules into a 3,600 square foot data center with an attached electrical room module.

Now the company is deploying its NxPower electrical module as a stand-alone offering to help data center operators accelerate data center construction projects. The  NxPower module contains a complete power distribution system, including uninterruptible power supply (UPS), switchgear and transfer switches. NxPower can also house batteries in a separate, fire-rated modular room.

NxGen said the 1 megawatt NxPower installation was for “a leading data center provider’s newest facility.”

“It took us less than 12 hours to offload and place the three modules inside a 2,100 square foot room on the data center construction site,” said Bruce Baxter, Vice President of Operations for NxGen Modular.  “The additional four days were needed to reconnect the electrical equipment and prepare for testing.” Baxter said a project of this size would normally require more than a month of on-site work.

Construction Veterans Impressed

Veteran data center construction managers were impressed. “I’ve never seen a power source of this magnitude installed so quickly and efficiently,” said John Larsen of DPR Construction, the general contractor responsible for the project. “One day, the room is empty. NxGen shows up, and the next day that room is packed to capacity. It’s really amazing how little on-site work was needed for the entire process and how cleanly everything was completed.”

NxGen Modular is among the new vendors that go beyond ISO standard shipping containers with flexible designs that resemble traditional data centers, but can be built cheaper and faster than typical greenfield projects.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Mike Balles

    What was the off site time require to construct from receipt of order, submittal drawings to delivery on the project site. The time of manufacturer would have to be included in the project schedule. The article does not state if it took 6 weeks or 6 months for the assemblies to be project ready.

  2. Why batteries and not a flywheel based UPS system? It would have saved them the cost of a separate container and all of the associated mechanical gear and maintenance headaches. I also agree with Mike's observation; five days is something their marketing team must have come up with.

  3. Dan Kleiman

    The offsite construction time from receipt of order until the electrical room was ready for delivery was about 14 weeks. The electrical room fabrication ran in parallel with the onsite construction, essentially taking electrical room installation off the critical path.