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The Champion Fiberglass blog keeps you up-to-date with industry news, facility advancements, and the latest information on products and services.

 
August 17, 2021

2021 Electrical Conduit Trends in Data Center Construction


 

 

Digital infrastructure.

Connectivity.

The cloud.

The fourth utility.

Digital transformation.

We’ve heard terms like these bantered about over the last year. WIth the pandemic increasing our reliance on the Internet for school and work, it is no wonder. About this, the report Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics states, “The year 2020 was the tipping point with the Internet along with its entire ecosystem witnessing a revolutionizing impact as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the human relationship with technology. The Internet and its allied technologies are witnessing growth and newfound importance as they become critical vehicles to not just fight the pandemic but also survive its impact.”

Not only does digital infrastructure refer to the wires of fiber optic cable delivering high speed Internet, it also refers to data centers, the dedicated spaces that store data and run processes and systems, including telecommunications.

The inside of a data center with racks of computer processors.

Data centers have greatly expanded in number since the beginning of the Internet boom of the late 1990s. The majority of these data warehouses are located in the United States, followed by China, Japan, and parts of Western Europe.

They are critical to public and private cloud platforms, including those of Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Twitter, as well as 5G networks and mission critical computing processes of all types.

Post-pandemic, it is no surprise that data center growth continues. In fact, data center construction is expected to set records this year, according to a new report from commercial real estate company CBRE.

In Addition to Continued Growth, What Else is Trending in Data Center Construction?

  • Environmental Concerns1
    Data center project managers are forced to reckon with major weather events like flooding and extreme temperatures. Data centers require a lot of energy, so efficiency is also a concern, as it is with the generators that provide resiliency and reliability during a weather event.
  • Colored Conduit1
    Colored conduit makes for an electrically organized data center. With it, conduit color matches the wire voltage color contained within to streamline data center electrical.
  • Product Shortages are Slowing Construction
    The PVC shortage that began with plant closures during the 2020 hurricane season continues and the Texas freeze of 2021 didn’t help. (Texas is home to the chemical refineries that produce PVC base resins.) The good news for data center customers is that fiberglass conduit is a reliable, more readily available alternative to PVC conduit that can be used in data center projects, and many project managers are already familiar with fiberglass conduit elbows.
  • Not Only Fiberglass Elbows, But Straights for Leading Edge Data Centers
    Champion Fiberglass® electrical conduit has created successful outcomes in many applications including utility, industrial/commercial projects, and chemical plants with both above ground and below ground installations. For many years, engineers, architects and contractors have acknowledged its benefits in protecting data center cabling assets too.

    Further, customers have trusted Champion Fiberglass® with the most critical aspects of data center construction — no burn-through elbows. Now with the PVC shortage predicted to continue through late 2022, fiberglass conduit, straight sections and fittings are increasingly providing a solution to rising prices and product delays of PVC conduit.

    Projects using fiberglass electrical conduit benefit from light weight, lower installation costs, and superior compression and impact strength. In data centers, project managers are realizing it is superior to PVC because of its lower coefficient of friction, lack of burn-through, and fault resistance that protects cables and wires.

    What is more, one of our tech clients was able to save nearly $500,000 over galvanized rigid steel elbows in a data center build. Learn more about this project’s performance.

Next Steps: Get an Estimate, Fast

You can compare our conduit to other types of conduit like PVC (and PVC coated steel conduit, galvanized rigid steel (GRC), aluminum, stainless steel and electrical metallic tubing (EMT)) and receive an instant estimate for a current project with our conduit calculator. Visit the calculator here.

For elbow project estimates, visit our elbow calculator for an on-demand quote.

A screen grab of the Champion Fiberglass elbow calculator as it appears on the website.

Reach Out to Our Helpful Team for Support

Our customers comment repeatedly about how we go the extra mile in creating a high-quality electrical conduit product. Contact our helpful sales team to answer any questions about our fiberglass electrical conduit and elbows and how we can help shorten product lead times for data center construction projects.

 

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