The country is benefiting from a wave of data centre investments in African countries including Kenya and Nigeria, according to a recent Standard Bank report. The trend is driven by advances in connectivity and data consumption, as smartphone use on the continent grows rapidly. Download speeds are rising which, in turn, boosts data consumption. There is also a global shift – driven by factors like data protection regulations – towards hosting data closer to where it is ultimately consumed.
Trafo Power Solutions managing director David Claassen highlights that data centres are energy-intensive, and need high levels of electrical power. In this context, the appropriate transformers with requisite protection devices are vital to support applications as robust as these.
“Dry-type transformers are ideal for data centres, especially from a safety, reliability and environmental perspective,” says Claassen. “In addition, the load characteristics need to be considered. To suit the high percentage of non-linear or harmonic load, for instance, these transformers have a design K-factor of 13.”
The units were manufactured to the highest level of quality by TMC, a leading Italian transformer OEM, with whom Trafo Power Solutions has partnered to bring dry-type transformers to the African continent. These low-loss transformers conform to the European Directive EU 548-2014, providing considerable savings in energy consumption. An electrostatic shield is an important element of the design, diverting leakage currents to ground.
“With our experience in dry-type transformer installations around Africa, Trafo Power Solutions are well equipped to assess the application requirement in data centres,” Claassen says. “In conjunction with our manufacturing partner, we can design and deliver a fast-track solution to meet the end-user’s specific needs.”
It is likely that new undersea cables to Africa will continue to raise broadband capacity, driving the trend for more data centres to be established locally.