A large software company was in the process of expanding its data center presence in the midwestern U.S. With the pandemic increasing reliance on data storage and processes, this company was anxious to move on this project despite product delays and pandemic-related labor and material shortages.
The biggest challenge for this customer was time. They had set a project schedule and needed to strictly adhere to it.
The PVC shortage added another wrinkle. This customer could not succumb to product delays. Additionally, the pandemic was causing labor shortages as businesses closed or slowed in an attempt to keep their workforces safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.
The project owners studied fiberglass conduit and noted its low coefficient of friction for smooth cable pulling, fault resistance for easy cable replacement, and of course no-burn through elbows that eliminate repairs caused by repetitive grooving or piercing. The speedy installation also appealed to the customer, because Champion Fiberglass® conduit offered lower NECA man-hour rates compared to PVC.
Fiberglass elbows are the standard for data center projects, but fiberglass straight sections are not used as often as other conduit types. Typically PVC conduit straight lengths in combination with fiberglass elbows are used for data center projects. But supply issues with PVC have prompted electrical engineers and contractors to entertain alternatives in order to keep projects on track. That is exactly what happened on this data center project.
After careful consideration, the customer settled on fiberglass elbows and straight lengths for the entire job. One of the biggest wins for this project was installation. The contractor was able to install three miles of conduit in underground duct banks in one day. Thanks to our unique gasketed connection conduit that requires no adhesive to connect the straight lengths and elbows, the installation took half the time as the same installation with PVC conduit.
Meeting project deadlines was another win. This project required carefully orchestrated collaboration between the Champion Fiberglass team for production and delivery and the electrical contractor for receiving and installation. There were multiple deliveries every week throughout the duration of the project and on-time deadlines were met.
In addition to the project benefiting from fiberglass conduit’s low coefficient of friction, no burn-through, and fault resistance, this customer benefited from product availability, lower prices, fast installation, and the ability to stay on-schedule to hit milestones. They also benefited from Champion Fiberglass’s 30+ years of project expertise to guide solutions.
Tech Company Data Center
A low coefficient of friction and low burn through contribute to a data center’s decision to replace GRC elbows with lightweight fiberglass.