Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel selects Minkels DX and H2O row-based cooling

“The density in the UZ Brussels data centre had increased dramatically over time,” says Professor Rudi van de Velde, director of Information Systems at UZ Brussels – who also serves as a scientist with the Free University of Brussels. “The CRAC cooling with its single point of failure could no longer handle it. The aging cooling system had a negative impact on the data centre’s uptime. Therefore, we decided to look for a high-quality, redundant cooling solution and finally encountered NextiraOne, an installation partner of the manufacturer Minkels.”


The existing data centre of UZ Brussels already had the infrastructure in place in the building for water cooling. “The Minkels VariCondition H20 water cooling solution was the most efficient solution for us in that situation, also in terms of costs,” says Van de Velde. “The Minkels DX cooling solution turned out to be a more cost efficient option for the back-up data centre that we recently built a few kilometres down the road.”

Van de Velde is very impressed with the row-based cooling solution that Minkels has delivered. “The CRAC solution required much more cooling power to achieve the same effect. These row-based cooling units are located between the racks – you can’t get more direct cooling than that. It not only provides higher energy efficiency, it has a positive influence on the performance of the equipment, which ensures a high level of uptime and performance. Thanks to the modular structure of the solutions, we can easily scale up and add additional row-based cooling systems to the mix.”


UZ Brussels didn’t only choose Minkels row-based cooling solutions. Van de Velde: “We have also installed Minkels Cold Corridors and cable organisers. Minkels provides us with a complete, integrated package.”

“The Minkels engineers were on site with the implementation partners to discuss our needs,” says Van de Velde. “This is not always the case. Many manufacturers don’t know how their products are actually implemented in the field. The Minkels engineers have given us very valuable advice, from design to implementation. Not only on paper, but also on the floor. Minkels then built specific components for optimum integration in the project. That is also one of their strengths, that they can produce custom data centre solutions.”

“I am much more relaxed when I go on holiday now,” says Van de Velde. “The data centres have a very redundant cooling capacity with the Minkels DX and water cooling solutions. We no longer have outages due to cooling failures and the reliability of our data centres has increased dramatically.”

After the summer of 2013, Professor Van de Velde reached the pensionable age at UZ Brussels. He will still work for the Free University of Brussels as a scientist at that point, where he will continue to share his knowledge in technology. “In the long-term I expect that data centres in Europe will be consolidated even more than they are now,” cites Van de Velde. “The developments in cloud computing will have the necessary impact and hospitals will also feel the effects. Healthcare budgets in Europe are under a lot of pressure. This means that not all hospitals will set up their own data centres. Certain components will be outsourced more often to centralised data centre environments.”