Water-cooled cabinets for the Royal Navy
Essential cooling for equipment in confined spaces
To deliver a rugged cabinet to house COTS IT systems into RN submarines, working within limited space, TEMPEST controls and without generating excess heat.
Early configurations of a core network system designed for submarines adopted a two-rack solution, with sub-systems physically separated within the compartment, minimising issues associated with electro-magnetic interference and wild heat.
However, subsequent changes to the equipment design resulted in an overall reduction in network components which compelled a drive to co-locate both sub-systems, reducing the overall footprint on each platform but potentially causing problems with more heat generated in a smaller space.
STS Defence was tasked with developing a solution for a single, fully enclosed, Tempest-approved, water-cooled cabinet that could accommodate the network components within a standard 19” footprint within constraints such as height, shock and vibration, maintenance access, security and, crucially, able to dissipate in excess of 6kW of wild heat using the platform’s existing chilled water supply.
Our mathematical analysis concluded that the wild heat produced within the enclosed cabinet could be effectively dissipated by using existing chilled water without having an adverse effect on the ambient temperature of the compartment.
Our solution featured door-mounted heat exchangers connected to the platform’s chilled water supply. Cooling fans, located in the door assembly and capable of extracting the equipment-generated wild heat.
The result was that, not only was an operable, internal temperature maintained, there was no adverse contribution to the ambient temperature of the compartment. In fact, it provided additional compartment cooling. The design also incorporated approved physical security control measures such as RFI screens and red/black network separation.
STS Defence undertook the development of a 19” water-cooled cabinet from the initial feasibility study to the installation, validation and acceptance of the first production unit on a submarine. This complex, challenging requirement was designed and built in-house to solve a challenging problem and meet the demanding requirements for both above and below surface platforms.