The Critical Importance of Data Centre Cooling

The Critical Importance of Data Centre Cooling

At the heart of any operational computerisation is sophisticated data centre cooling technology.

Like the proverbial horse and carriage, you can’t have one without the other. Without doubt, data is the lifeblood of most businesses. The data centre or server room is the heart that facilitates the continued existence of operation-critical data. We’re talking mothership proportions that rival Battlestar Galactica’s operational abilities here! This is where the big guns are needed.

Home and office comfort cooling requirements pale in significance to what data cooling centres require.

The bulk of the electricity needed for this vital co-dependency goes to managing the heat generated by the computing equipment in the data centre.

The larger and more complex the system, the more heat generated. It is the business of data cooling technology to protect the entire ITE (Information Technology Equipment) operation. Continuous and reliable cooling is expected from technology used for data centre cooling applications.

Data Centre Cooling Basics

The bottom line is that heat and computer components are arch enemies. That reality is compounded by the fact the computing inexorably generates heat the moment it is turned on. Bear in mind that in most large-scale industrial instances, banks of computers must run full time.

In some cases, to maintain a permanent status quo, computerisation needs to run without a pause, in which case computers operate rotationally. That leaves no time for natural cooling down. The critical data cooling system needs to support consistent cooling and ventilation – at all times.

To add to the happy marriage of data centre cooling and the ITE it protects, three more criteria merge into the equation before all the cooling specifications are considered:

  1. Basic Infrastructure – referencing hardware such as air conditioners, air ducts and cooling towers.
  2. Management – referencing data cooling software.
  3. Monitoring – referencing temperature control equipment.

Efficient and effective data centre cooling is not all about pumping as much cold air into a room as possible but is also about responsible energy usage. Thermal analysts expose vulnerabilities that can save companies a mini fortune in electrical bills and the right team of professionals will make the best use of the cooling system by arranging the equipment to facilitate a healthy flow of air.

The Critical Importance of Data Centre Cooling 2

Data Centre Cooling Solutions

The predominant feature being air-conditioning, it becomes crucial to select a reputable company for the job.  AHI Carrier, for one, is intensely aware of the operation-critical nature of data centre cooling.

The ‘Cold Row-Hot Row’ Configuration

Understanding the ‘cold row-hot row’ configuration means seeing that cooled air passes through the front for example, while hot air is extracted at the back.  That sounds great until the experts discovered that some 60% of that expensively cooled air is lost. The nature of air is to find the easy route, so it escapes through gaps between servers, or cabinets and even through gaps in tiles.

Savvy giants of the cooling industry factor in hidden leaks. Hot aisle containment works as long as generated heat can escape via a dedicated system. Data centre cooling is achieved when cooled air is channelled specifically into the ‘cold-aisle’. The beauty of this arrangement is that only the necessary parts of the data centre are kept cold rather than the entire server room.

Evaporative Cooling

This is another popular solution that involves cooling the air entering the system. The air then entering at a lower temperature obviously requires less power to reach the temperature setting for the data centre cooling.

A rather elaborate-sounding method makes use of what is called an adiabatic system. Since water has four times the thermal capacity of air, in a data centre cooling system, water is, therefore, an excellent cooling medium.  When air first passes through wet filters, its temperature drops considerably before entering the air-conditioning system.

All solutions will take into consideration how many people work in the data cooling centre, the insulation capability of the centre, the fire control measures necessary, the kind of lighting and the heat that generates and last, but not least, the size of the server room.

Data cooling centres occupy the attention of the company IT support team. They cannot afford to take their eye off the temperature and the systems running it.

Backup conditioners need to be constantly checked and maintained so that in the case of an emergency, they can be relied upon to kick in.

AHI Carrier are well-respected professionals in this industry and can happily take charge of the cooling requirements of your data centre. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

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