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Divide and Conquer - Improving Your Data Center's Cooling Efficiency

July 28, 2010

The information below is a result of a conversation between Brian Brown, Web Development & Internet Marketing at our distributor partner Accu-Tech Corporation, and Ian Seaton, CPI's Technical Applications Development Manager. The interview is posted on Accu-Tech's Website.

What is the one the thing a typical data center operator can do to improve data center cooling efficiency?

Well, there’s one simple phrase, divide and conquer. Look at the hot aisle / cold aisle data design that was intended to separate the supply air streams from the return air streams. Now we have solutions that allow you to essentially contain or isolate those two bodies of air from each other. This isolation is really the most important thing which can be done.

With this sort of containment, what sort of benefits can be derived?

/uploadedImages/Blog/Bay-of-CPI-Ducted-Cabinets.jpgThe most important benefit is that you eliminate all the hot spots. When you remove all the hot air from the data center and completely separate that air from the supply airstream, it’s really impossible to create a hot spot for any server in the data center. Secondly, you have the opportunity to support much higher densities in the data center because you remove that hot air. Finally, you eliminate the need to overproduce air in the data center and that gives you access to some of the energy savings on your air handler power. For example, if you have variable air volume fans running at 80% airflow, you’re only consuming 50% of the energy required for those air handlers.

Data Center With TeraFrame CabinetsIn addition to those three opportunities, you also have the opportunity to change your thermal management thermostat, as it were, from the return air path to the supply air path, because you no longer care what the temperature of that return air is because it doesn’t affect anything in the data center. To find out more about hot air containment, take a closer look at CPI Passive Cooling® Solutions.

Also, I’d like to remind everybody that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently released an energy star rating for data centers. The kinds of savings that can be achieved by the strategies I’ve mentioned —beyond the economic impact— also have an impact on helping to qualify for energy star ratings. Kim Ream, Sr. eCommerce Specialist

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