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Video: Best Practices for Effective Cabinet-Level Airflow Management

March 01, 2018

Developing and implementing an effective containment strategy, regardless of which system you choose, will reduce your data center's cooling efficiency. But, before you begin down the complex path of developing a larger containment strategy, Chatsworth Products (CPI) suggests you begin with the basics. Just what do we mean? Start with the cabinet. 

Effective airflow management and cooling cost reduction requires the elimination of bypass airflow within or through the cabinet. Prior to implementing any containment project, consider utilizing the following best practices:

  • User proper racking techniques to block airflow around rack-mount equipment
  • Use blanking panels to seal all unused rack-mount spaces to block airflow between rack-mount equipment
  • Use air dams and seals around rack-mount equipment to prevent recirculation of hot air around the sides of the equipment
  • Use seals around cable openings in the cabinet body and raised floors
  • Use seals between cabinets to block airflow between cabinets into the contained space
  • Use panels to block airflow under the cabinet into the contained space

See a sectional view of the cabinets below showing bypass airflow around equipment (left) and showing good airflow management guiding air through equipment and blocking recirculation (right). It is critical to utilize baffles and blanking panels within cabinets to seal openings that would allow air to bypass equipment. All air that passes through the cabinet should pass through equipment, and transfer heat away from equipment and out of the cabinet.

Airflow in Cabinet

Blocking bypass airflow through cabinets (and openings in raised access floors used for airflow delivery) is a critical component of any effective airflow management solution, and may temporarily solve cooling issues without the need for additional ducted exhausts or aisle containment. Additionally, there is a need for a procedure and staff discipline for installing blanking panels when equipment is removed and installing seals when new floor openings are created.

Watch the video below to learn more about how effective airflow management begins with the cabinet, or download a complimentary white paper to find out what containment system will work best for your business.  

Brittany Mangan, Digital Content Specialist

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