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Friday, February 3, 2023

Which Cooling System Is Best For Your Data Center?

As they become more important to the global IT infrastructure, data centers are becoming larger and more diverse. Data center operators face increased pressure to lower the energy consumption of these facilities as urban development and climate change are requiring them to decrease their carbon footprint.

Cooling systems that are efficient and effective are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a modern data center and a dinosaur susceptible to disruption.

Data center cooling was considered a sunk cost back in the days of the old days. To keep their server rooms cool, companies spent a lot of money on air conditioning units. These facilities operate at power usage efficiency (PUE) of most. As high as 3 it is more efficient to have six space heaters in your home.

However, cooling data centers efficiently has received more attention over the past decade. This is understandable, as maintaining the right temperature inside a data center facility can help to account for this.

There are many promising technologies in the industry, including liquid and free cooling and evaporated cooling. We have taken the time to explain some of the benefits of these data center cooling solutions.

CRAC

CRAC stands for Computer Room Air Conditioner. It is an evolution of the traditional cooling method used to cool server rooms. CRAC extracts hot air from the server room and pumps it in cold. It works in the same manner as a home AC unit, but monitors and controls the humidity and air distribution. Although it may seem strange, the ideal humidity for data center servers is between 20% and 80%. This reduces electrostatic discharge.

CRAC cooling systems circulate cool air between racks and computers through perforated floor tiles. The racks and computers absorb the cool air and expel the hot air into the opposite hot aisle. The floor air conditioners in computer rooms pull in hot air from the hot aisles and then release it under the floor tiles to complete the cycle. CRAC unit air handlers can cool the air and maintain a constant airflow throughout the environment.

Hot Aisle Content

Hot aisle containment, which was briefly mentioned above, is a way to orient server racks to the right. Its low-cost and high-return cooling method has been very popular. The method allows operators to strategically place CRAC units in certain areas and cool only those areas, rather than cooling the entire server room.

In-Rack Heat Extract

This is the first modern design that elevates hot aisle containment. You don’t need to cool a whole space to cool a rack full of servers. In-rack heat extractors heat directly from servers and pump it outside. The hardware is then cooled using chillers and compressors.

Evaporative Cooling

Evaporative cooling, which is a method that reduces the temperature of the water and turns it into the air, has been gaining popularity in recent years. Evaporative cooling works on the principle that water must be heated to transform from liquid to vapor. This heat is removed from the water that remains liquid to create evaporation.

Liquid Immersion Cooling

Liquid immersion cooling is one of the most exciting and modern forms of data center cooling. Although water-cooled racks for data centers have high power efficiency, the risk of water damage to computing equipment worth several hundred thousand dollars has prevented widespread adoption.

The process of running liquid coolant through hot parts of servers and taking heat away to heat exchangers is hundreds of times more efficient that using huge CRAC (Computer Room Air Condition) devices. This technology also has remarkably low PUE readings.

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