UL launches data center equipment installation and integration programs

Nov. 8, 2021
UL has announced the launch of its Data Center Integrator Qualification and Immersion Cooling Equipment Programs to promote safer data center operating environments.

Global safety science authority UL today announced two new initiatives. The UL Data Center Integrator Qualification (DCIQ) and Immersion Cooling Equipment programs have both been developed to help support the data center industry's growth.

As observed by UL in statement:

The data center infrastructure sector has recently experienced a surge as a result of increased demand for remote work, cloud computing and business digitalization in both the commercial and consumer sectors. Additionally, the increasing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and applications, the rapid adoption of factory automation and new critical applications that rely on newer 5G networks all accelerate data demand.

For its part, UL's DCIQ program addresses the need to limit data center hazards and performance loss due to improper equipment integration or to meet local and national building requirements concerning fire or electrical codes and regulations.

Following completion of the program, system-integrator-qualified personnel and their companies will receive a certificate based on regularly scheduled audits and conformance to all program requirements. For the program, UL says it developed specific requirements in collaboration with industry stakeholders, including hardware original equipment manufacturers (OEM), system integrators and asset owners.

Ibrahim Jilani, global director of UL's Consumer, Medical and Information Technologies group, commented:

"As the data center industry grows, capital-intensive equipment will need to be installed in new data centers or upgraded in existing data centers. Large hyperscale sites that help maintain the public cloud, enterprise or co-located sites that support business, and new capacities for edge data centers all need excellence in installation and integration. With the potential of incorrectly installed equipment that could result in a system outage and business downtime, there is growing concern regarding the quality of installation and the qualification of the installers for data centers. To help mitigate risks and advance performance as well as safety in data centers, UL has developed the DCIQ program that offers the industry a trustworthy and recognizable qualification program that identifies and qualifies system integrators and their staff."

Meanwhile, UL notes that the growing demands placed on data centers have also increased heat dissipation from the equipment used, and has raised concerns regarding rapidly growing energy consumption. To address such challenges, UL now has also developed a new certification program for immersion cooling technology used with information technology (IT), server and computing equipment in data centers.

As stated by UL:

Data centers' increasing size and scope around the world has led to a reliance on immersion cooling, which refers to the practice of submerging racks and/or full servers in a thermally, but not electrically, conductive liquid (dielectric coolant). Immersion cooling using dielectric fluids has proven more effective at cooling than older methods because it conducts heat more efficiently than air. UL's Immersion Cooling Program helps ensure electric and fire safety co-operates with innovation, and the system and its fluids are evaluated to applicable requirements.

UL is a member of the Open Compute Project (OCP), a collaborative community focused on redesigning hardware technology to efficiently support the growing demands on computing infrastructure. UL will announce additional details of its DCIQ and Immersion Cooling programs at the OCP Global Summit 2021, held from Nov. 9-10 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA. 

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