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Commissioning is a quality-control process that provides documented confirmation of proper installation and functioning of a data center’s systems and components, including monitoring and control systems, as designed and specified. The tests during the commissioning process are conducted on the basis of standardized procedures.

The purpose of commissioning is to provide the client or owner with a high level of assurance that the building systems are installed and operating in a safe and appropriate manner, by verifying that the design meets the owner’s intended usage, installation is correct, equipment and& systems are fully functional and properly networked, operate efficiently as a whole, and are maintainable without any danger of interruption.

Commissioning is conducted in advance before the facility is completed because it is not easy to change or replace systems or equipment in a data center after the center is completed and commences operation.

Commissioning Process

The commissioning process consists of seven important steps based on internationally accepted standards:

Design and Planning
During Level 0, a commissioning implementation plan is prepared to identify and define all the components and systems that will be commissioned. Information to be shared during the entire commissioning process, including identifying persons to participate in the tests, phased processes and something significant to report, are also prepared and decided upon during this level through the planning process.
By participating in concept design and working design during this level, checks are also carried out on how the construction, electrical, mechanical, communication and fire suppression systems will affect the commissioning and operation of the building.
Overall test scripts and sequence of operation are prepared.
Consideration is given to how best to configure EPMS and BAS/BMS
Factory Testing
Factory Testing is the generic term used for testing the equipment in the factory prior to shipment to the site. Factory testing verifies that the first unit complies with the design intent and requirements of the data center owner, and that the equipment is functioning correctly.
During factory testing, checks are also carried out on whether the equipment and systems are properly networked with the monitoring system.
The manufacturer, the general contractor and the vendor conduct the factory testing, while the commissioning agent participates in a part of the testing to review the result.
QA/QC Construction
During the Level 2 step, inspection of equipment and systems is conducted to verify they are correctly installed, while ensuring that they meet the requirements of manufacturers and designers.
Pre-use inspections are also conducted on quality operation of equipment and systems, including piping and flushing checks, during this level before introducing electric power.
The manufacturer, the general contractor and the vendor conduct the QA/QC construction, while the commissioning agent participates in a part of the test to review the result.
Startup Testing
Level 3 Startup Testing, conducted after the introduction of electric power, is designed to verify proper determination of set-points of equipment and systems installed, and to ensure their durability by performing various tests including normal operation test, functioning test, alarm test, and load test.
During the Level 3 step, TAB (Testing, Adjusting, Balancing) is also performed to adjust the mechanical systems to ensure that they comply with the initial design and construction concept.
The manufacturer, the general contractor and the vendor then conduct the factory testing, while the commissioning agent participates in a part of the testing to ensure nothing is missed and reviews the result.
Functional Performance Testing
The Level 4 Functional performance testing is designed to confirm that each of the components of the equipment and systems are operating normally and fully functional in the manner intended, by virtually creating and applying various scenario conditions, including normal, critical and failure modes.
Integrated System Testing
Level 5 Integrated System Testing virtually creates any possible failure in the data center, including replicating failure of each piece of equipment, main power failure, replacement of equipment for maintenance, etc., to confirm the center provides reliable and safe service in actual operation.
The site is visited again, after the commissioning process from Level 0 to 5 is completed, to confirm that all the facilities in the data center are correctly handed over to the client based on proper individual/integrated operational conditions.