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How Keeping Data Centres Cool Starts at Design

28 April, 2016

How Keeping Data Centres Cool Starts at Design


When designing and building a data centre, one of the most important elements to get right is cooling. An efficient data facility can’t run without an effective and reliable cooling system, so it can’t be an afterthought. Also, how the entire data centre is laid out and designed can have a huge impact on cooling and humidity levels.

Designing an Efficient Cooling System

You need to make a decision at the design stage about how you will cool the facility. There are many options available, and you need to make sure the cooling system you choose will be functional and appropriate for the size of your data centre. As it will be running 24/7, you’ll want to find a reliable and energy efficient cooling option. As part of the planning process you will need to submit an energy conservation report – in which cooling and air conditioning will play a large part.

Fact: Air conditioning can account for up to a third of the overall power consumption of a data centre.

So let’s take a look at some of the options:

Air Conditioning

Modern air conditioning systems come in all different shapes and sizes, and one of the most common is a chilled water system. These use water and compressors to cool the air and are suitable for large computer rooms and data facilities. Air handling units will be placed where needed around the building – which is why the data centre design is so important.

Most chilled water systems have a single pipeline which supplies all air conditioning units. For a backup cooling system you’ll need a Tier 4 system.

Adiabatic Cooling

As a recent innovation, adiabatic cooling systems are experiencing a growth in adoption, mainly due to their reduced running costs. They work differently to traditional air conditioning systems, as they don’t need a compressor. It uses an evaporative process which circulates cool air – the pioneering system uses just outside air, EC fans and softened water.

There are many benefits to these compressor-less systems; first of all it makes use of outdoor air, making data centres more sustainable. By taking advantage of natural processes, it reduces energy usage and can save businesses on power consumption. Additionally, adiabatic cooling systems require less maintenance because the equipment is basic and there is no compressor – which also reduces the cost of installation and ongoing care.


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