TelecityGroup’s Powergate 2 is an extension to their Powergate 1 facility, to which it is linked by a bridge.
The data centres are built on the site of the former Acton Lane North Power station, hence the apt name of the estate and road, Volt Avenue (click on the map to open in Google maps). This is undoubtably a great location for the power hungry data centres as it is adjacent to a national grid substation, which is the grey building to the north of the business park.
The building, a Sainsbury distribution centre, was converted into a data centre in 2012, and it is huge. The transit van in the pictures below gives some idea of the scale of this building.
Although it is a retrofit a amount of work has been done, including the roadside louvred extension, which contains cooling equipment and other plant.
The aesthetic of this building seems very close to the huge sheds operated by Facebook/ Google/ Amazon/ etc. As the entire exterior of the building has been redesigned the building’s aesthetic is closer to the purpose-built data centres at East India Quay.
The large expanses of windowless facades are covered with louvres on the upper levels to provide solar shading. Cooling the building is one of the major engineering challenges, as servers produce a great deal of heat and cooling uses a huge amount of power.
One major difference between the custom-build and retrofit data centres I have noticed is the quality of maintenance. While the urban retrofits largely look run-down and dirty, the custom builds look sleek and clean. The quality of build as this facility was also evident in the detailing. See the camera below:
The building looks very secure with high fences and visible cameras surrounding the entire site. There is only one very secure looking entrance to the building (shared with the original facility), which is in the images below.
Stores of diesel to power the generators in the case of a power outage:
Aluminium great aesthetic:
Phase 2 is on the left, with the original building on the right:
From the air: