Efficient Cooling Solutions for High Density Data Centres
You are no doubt familiar with the debate surrounding high power density data centres. They are considered to be more efficient and are expected to replace lower power density data centres in the near future. While the use of high power density data centres will certainly help reduce your power bills, they come with a significant drawback – Such data centres pick up a lot of heat very quickly and it’s hard to cool them down.
High power density data centres are those in which each cabinet requires a power consumption of 10 kW or more. The power density is measured by how much energy is consumed per square foot. For this reason, high power density data centres consist of server racks stacked one above the other, to save as much space as possible. This means the density of the server racks is very high, and this leads to the build up of a lot of heat. This makes it all the more important to innovate and come up with better and more efficient cooling solutions.
The old data centre design is completely incapable of being able to cool down such high density data centres. That led to new innovations such as CRAC units, or large computer room air conditioners, which are essentially racks built with aisle containment structures and rear-door, water-chilled cooling units.
However, it has been found that just adding CRAC units does not solve the problem. A more efficient cooling solution is a rear-door cooling unit and hold and cold aisle containment structure.
Efficient airflow management can ensure that the data centres don’t get overheated, while being cost-effective as well. A rear-door, cooling unit makes use of a liquid cooling technology which exchanges hot air with cold air. Here’s how it works – the rear door makes use of a closed loop system to hold the cold water, and this offsets the heat generated by the server racks. Essentially, it works as a highly efficient air exchanger, without fans or moving parts.
The aisle containment structure used in this system is prefabricated. It is a freestanding unit mainly used for cabinet anchoring and consists of a base unit frame or an aisle containment platform.
Hot and cold aisle containments are far more efficient than the traditional cooling systems used by data centres. They ensure that the amount of hot and cold air that mix together are kept to a minimum when exchanging the hot air for the cold air.
The purpose of the cold aisle containment structure is to hold on to the cold air while ensuring that the hot air stays out of the system. This is made possible with the installation of overhead vertical wall systems or aisle ceilings and row doors. This ensures that the cold air is led into the air intakes of the servers.
Hot aisle containments prevent cold and hot air from mixing. They consist of rows into which the servers direct the heated exhausts. They face the air conditioner ducts, into which they send the hot air, which is then recycled into cold air.
The data centre industry is a fast changing one. With the widespread use of the internet and smartphones, which has led to the creation of so much data in recent times, one expects high power density data centres to be much more common in the future.
This makes it all the more important for data centre managers to find more effective solutions that can increase efficiency while reducing power consumption. That’s why energy efficient cooling systems are used alongside high power density data centres. This is how you can ensure optimum data centre performance and output while saving on the energy consumption.