Secure Data Center Electrical Design with Exertherm Wired Sensors

The adoption of digital processes is becoming the norm for data center infrastructure buildouts. With an ever-growing requirement for a centralized, real-time view of system health, nothing is more critical than the electrical assets that power data centers.

Thermal condition monitoring doesn’t just detect faults within your critical electrical assets, it produces operational data that makes the management of data center facilities more robust and is, therefore, of considerable commercial benefit.

Security is of paramount concern for data centers. Exertherm understands this, which is why our sensors are hard-wired directly from the sensor to datacard and then onwards to any front-end software system. From this point onwards, data transfer can be via wired or wireless LAN networks, but these connections are entirely within your internal network, behind firewalls and switches. Communication is only available where you want it, allowing IT or facility managers full control over who has access to the monitoring system and its data.

Hard-wired means no broadcast data from sensors can be intercepted or hacked, resulting in false-positive alarm conditions.

Top 6 reasons to select wired sensors rather than a wireless sensor solution to monitor the condition of your Data Center Electrical Infrastructure:

  • Increased security: With no wireless broadcasting data, hacking into a wired monitoring system is almost impossible. All connections are physical, allowing facility managers to control who has access to the monitoring system and its data.
  • Lifetime accuracy: Unpowered, hard-wired sensors have no amplifiers or electronics, which can drift over time, resulting in costly re-calibration. Sensors that are battery-powered and wireless can require periodic re-calibration.
  • Cost-effective and future-proof: With no batteries to replace and no periodic inspection required, wired sensors are ‘fit & forget’ and have a longer active life than their wireless counterparts. Wired sensor cost of ownership is lower with less time spent identifying and replacing expired wireless units or paying for downtime to access wireless sensors for periodic maintenance.
  • Lifetime reliability: Wireless sensors have electronic components and, as a result, only come with a limited one-year warranty. Sensors that are powered by the magnetic field of the conductor require maintenance every two years, which equates to an additional 12 shutdowns during the nominal life of the equipment. Wireless sensors usually have an anticipated life of 10-15 years and, therefore, will require replacement in equipment with a 25–30-year life. Selecting wireless sensors will mean a significant future cost of ownership.
  • Simple commissioning: Wireless sensor networks need careful configuration to achieve optimum performance, both at the time of installation and again if additional sensors are added to the network. Wired sensors are typically ‘fit and forget. Wireless sensors require multiple hard-wired antennae as transmission distances from the sensor to the antenna can be as low as 30, and there are a limited number of wireless frequencies, which can create issues with sensor ID. Commissioning can therefore be complex, time-consuming, and expensive, and it can only be completed on-site. This often takes multiple attempts, with each attempt requiring equipment to be de-energized. In comparison, hard-wired sensor commissioning is fast and simple.
  • No interference: Wireless data broadcast over the radio frequency (RF) spectrum is prone to interference resulting in reduced communication reliability. Sensors that operate on the same frequency will create conflicts and cause ‘cross-talk’ of data within the equipment.
The advantages of thermal monitoring sensors are numerous and not limited to benefitting cyber security strategy. Find out more about how the technology can help your data center or indeed, other industries here

Discover why thermal monitoring sensors won a Mission Critical Top Tier Product Award.
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