In recent years, there’s been an uptick in tech companies picking up shop and moving from Silicon Valley to sunny Florida. Every year the city of Miami welcomes thousands of new tech companies, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing tech hubs. But as more and more companies make Florida their home, so do their accompanying data centers.

While the year-round heat might be a nice change for ex-Bay Area residents, the intense humidity has posed quite the dilemma for data centers. Data centers produce enormous amounts of heat and require intricate cooling systems to keep servers from overheating and running in good condition. For data centers located in regions such as South Florida that consistently experience high temperatures, efficient and well-functioning cooling systems are crucial. Miami’s Palmetto Bay Village Center is home to one of the city’s handful of Bitcoin data centers.

Earlier this year, the facility was in desperate need of an updated cooling system as it had become severely deteriorated after years of exposure to South Florida’s salty and humid conditions. Ryan Conley, president of Copasetic Mechanical, and his team were hired to replace condensers and piping. Conley had previously worked on several data center projects, but this one was uniquely challenging as the team had to work around the active servers and miners on-site. Brazing around live servers would have created a risky and dangerous environment, but the client was keen on not having to shut down the facility while the Copasetic Mechanical crew replaced the corroded condensers.

Luckily, Copasetic had recently added Rapid Locking System (RLS) press fittings into the company’s install arsenal, and the team knew it would be the ideal solution for all involved as it was safer and more efficient. Copasetic implemented RLS to install 75 press fittings and approximately 150 feet of pipe to replace two remote condensers, each with four unusable pressure sensors, without having to disrupt any of the servers housed within the data center. RLS press fittings provide a flameless alternative to brazing for HVAC/R installation and repair for cold room applications.

The traditional installation method of brazing requires use of torches and gases that pose serious fire and safety hazards, especially for data centers and other facilities with sensitive fire suppression systems. 

“Press fittings are the ideal solution for HVAC/R applications within data centers,” said Conley. “Brazing poses too much of risk for setting off fire suppression systems, which can be expensive to refill and sometimes fatal to anyone in the room if they go off.”

By eliminating a source of fire hazards, press fittings also remove the need for added fire precautions such as hot work permits and fire spotters and shutting down facility operations, which in turn speeds up the HVAC/R installation and repair process. The Copasetic team was able to finish the project up to 75 percent faster than brazing.

“RLS played a big role in getting the project done quicker because my techs were able to work while the client operated as normal,” explained Conley.