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Data and Power ladders

Discussion in Server Room & Data Center Design Best Practices started by Vlad , 5/11/2007 8:27 PM
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Data and Power ladders

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    I asked our local codes guru, and he says alot depends on if Area 2 is designated as an "Information Technology" space per NEC Article 645, but the implication is that it is.
    I also assume that the UPS is an InfraStruXure Type B.
    You also do not state, but the implication is that it is new construction.

    It makes a difference. Compliance to Article 645 is not mandatory unless you want the benefit of running cables under a raised floor. As there is no raised floor, there is no reason to invoke Article 645. In that case, you should be able to treat the UPS the same as any other centalized UPS, with all wire and cable run per NEC requirements for premises wiring.

    However, there have been some interpretations about the use of a PDU that could complicate things. There have been some interpretations that a PDU cannot distribute beyond the confines of the room where it is installed. These interpretations again have referred to a 645-compliant room, but it is a gray area.

    That aside...

    It is possible to run both power and data cable on the same ladder.
    Power and data cable cannot share the same conduit.

    If Area #2 is a "fire-resistant-rated" room (e.g., 1-hour fire rating), then the local code might require all power wiring to be run in conduit between spaces. Cable tray can pass between rooms, but openings around electrical penetrations through fire-resistant-rated walls, partitions, floors or ceilings must be firestopped using approved methods to maintain the fire resistance rating , per Article 300.21

    I am not able to give a firm answer because I do not know the jurisdiction or the local requirements. These are details that are normally resolved in the plans review process.

    Cabling between spaces is covered under the following articles:
    Signaling circuits: Article 725
    Fiber optic circuits: Article 770
    Communications circuits: Article 800
    Fire alarm circuits: Article 760

    Keep IT up!
    FREE Data Center Design Training

  • C, thanks for your input. Your assumptions were correct and this gives me a pretty good idea of what I should be looking for.

  • Hello everyone.

    Not very familiar with the NEC regulations, but here is a question for those of you that are.
    Our new data center design has 3 separate areas:

    1. Strictly network equipment - Access layer switches, core switch and Internet router located close to ISP equipment. Maximum of 10 devices with a maximum power draw of 2KW. All located about 70' from area 2 in an enclosed room.
    2. Server racks, UPS and PDU. Air-tight room with fire suppression system.
    3. Console area - K, V, M located 15' from area 2 in the same room as area 1.

    We would like to power all of the equipment from the PDU/UPS that we are purchasing and not install separate UPS for areas 1 and 3. This will give us the reliability we are looking for. The location has no drop ceiling or raised floor.

    1. Is it possible to run both data (CAT6 and SM fiber) and power cables on the same overhead ladder to locations 1 and 3.
    2. Is it possible to run both data and power through the same conduit (wall separation for air-tight room) from area 1 to 2.

    Thanks for your input.

  • Just an update for this question. Did some research and talked to the local electricians that are doing the work in our new facility. Here is what i found out:
    1. Data and power can not run in the same conduit.
    2. There must be physical separation if the 2 are running in parallel
    3. If utilizing same cable ladder, there must be a divider between the data and power, however the suggestion is to run two separate ladders.
    4. No division is necessary at perpendicular intersection. (I guess that would also depend on the power run)

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