Nevada Chapter Events & Tours

City National Arena Tour
July 25, 2018

Our members and guests of the Nevada Chapter of the AEE, took an afternoon to go inside the new City National Arena in Las Vegas. Home to the Vegas Golden Knights.  The arena features two NHL-sized ice sheets for both team and public use as well as a full size pub and grill.  The Mackenzie River Pizza Pub and Grill which sits atop the ice rinks with fantastic views.  An overview of the buildings energy practices and management techniques were provided by the on-site team.  This facility has been opened almost one year and it hosts the Vegas Golden Knights practice sessions, a skating academy, and offers various learn to play programs to all ages and levels. (Thanks for the super tour City National Arena…!)

Our first stop was the chiller room where ice making operations were explained.  The optimum ice temperature is 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Figure skaters like ‘softer’ ice at 24 degree. This is they do not hurt themselves as much when falling.  New facilities often retain the “new car smell” and even the back of the house at this facility looked sharp.  The water distribution equipment and the primary heat exchanger still appeared brand new.  The facility has 11 miles of piping under the ice keeping it frozen for the skaters. It takes roughly one week to rebuild the ice rinks from scratch.

Our second stop was lunch in the Mackenzie River Pizza Pub and Grill overlooking the ice rinks.  This stop provided a fabulous lunch and took us into the details of controls, best practices and general operations for energy practices.   Some tidbits from this part of the tour included:

  • Virtually all mechanical equipment was variable frequency drive (VFD) based.
  • Virtually all lighting is light emitting diode (LED)

 A few fun facts about the site included:

  • The facility has become a favorite among players
  • The Golden Knights practice and UNLV play on rink 1 which is branded as Summerlin Hospital rink
  • Both rinks 1 and 2 have a capacity of 600
  • The National Hockey League requires a 23-25 degree ice temperature and a specified humidity level.
  • Five full time facility engineer positions are planned for this site.  

We hope to return to this site sometime in the future and watch the Vegas Golden Knights practice.


Switch Reno Tour
July 26, 2018

Switch’s Tahoe Reno 1 Data Center, also known as the Citidel Campus, was the site of a tour attend by 26 members and friends of the AEE Nevada Chapter.   This site is located at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, about 20 miles east of Reno, attendees car/vanpooled from a site in Sparks.  The new facility is 650,000 square feet, the first phase of a buildout that will eventually total 7.2M square feet.

The tour began with the process of getting through the security procedures of the site; due to the nature of its operation, the security on site and control of access to the site is extremely tight.  After entry, attendees were welcomed to a large training room where they were given a presentation about Switch’s corporate philosophy, facilities, and approach to data center operation.  The Citidel Campus is one of four facilities nationwide, which will provide data center coverage for the entire U.S.; the other Switch facilities are located in Las Vegas, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Atlanta, Georgia.  The presentation also discussed that the Citidel Campus operates with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.28, which is one of the best for any data center in the world.  PUE is the ratio of total amount of energy used by a computer data center facility to the energy delivered to computing equipment.  This is done primarily with very efficient HVAC equipment which incorporates direct and indirect evaporative cooling.

After the presentation, attendees were split into two groups to tour the facility.  The tour highlighted the redundancy of power systems, redundancy of cooling systems, roof systems, cabinet configuration, and operational interface that Switch has with its data center clients.  The facility operates by providing supply air to the cabinets at 68F to 72F, these temperatures allow for a lot of flexibility in how cooling is done in the facility.  Another key part of the tour was dust and contamination control; as attendees walked through the data center, they frequently stepped on sticky tape mats to eliminate outside dirt entry to key parts of the facility.  The filtration used in the facility’s HVAC systems is also very sophisticated.

The attendees of this tour all were very impressed by what they saw at the Switch Citidel Campus and had learned a lot about how a very high performing data center is operated.