Commercial refrigeration for data centres
As the demand for data exchange increases, IT operations become a key aspect for most businesses.
Maintenance and service for Data Centres cooling systems
Businesses depend on their information technology infrastructure to perform their operations. The performance of IT systems relies on adequately operating cooling systems that are responsible for controlling server room heat loads. A malfunction in a data centre cooling system may lead to network downtime and financial losses – therefore, regular preventive maintenance is very important. Properly installed systems, maintained by qualified technicians who have extensive knowledge of these systems, will ensure the optimal performance and efficiency of the cooling system.
There are various methods used for data centre cooling. They are all intended to move heat from within the closed environment of the data centre to the outside. For equipment closets or small server rooms, a simple portable cooling unit is a cost-effective and adequate solution. However, an engineered cooling solution will be more efficient for a larger data centre.
Data centre cooling methods
Whole room cooling systems are designed by positioning AC units to maintain an even temperature throughout a room. However, warm and cool air are easily mixed and this can negatively influence the effectiveness of this type of installation; there are various design options available in order to isolate warm air from cooler air in a data centre cooling system.
- Cool air supplied from
underneath a perforated, elevated floor: the cool air is blown up into the
equipment, where it accumulates waste heat and releases it as warm air. That
warm air rises and is gathered, cooled, and returned beneath the floor to
repeat the process.
- Hot and cold aisles: in this type of design, the IT equipment is located in such way that air inlets face a “cold aisle” where cooled air is supplied by a cooling unit and drawn into the equipment. The hot exhaust behind the equipment is released and returned to the cooling unit intakes via “hot aisles.” This increases the separation between the supply (cool) and return (hot) air paths.
- The air-cooling units can be placed so that cold air is blown towards rows of cabinets or equipment racks. This allows directing cold air to the equipment with the strictest requirements for temperature control.
Liquid-based cooling methods
This method is designed to concentrate the cooling where it’s needed rather than cooling the entire room. For example: a liquid cooling system can be designed to deliver chilled water directly to a server rack or cabinet.
Liquid cooling utilizes chillers to remove heat to the outside. These systems often use a cooling tower to provide cool water or refrigerant which is transported directly to the equipment racks/cabinets or to a computer room air handler (CRAH) in the data centre. This method is very efficient, however, using a liquid for data centre cooling has a downside – the risk of leaks which could damage expensive IT equipment. It may also cause condensation. Liquid cooling systems are more complicated and require additional infrastructure for holding and transporting the liquid. Liquid cooling methods are more expensive than air-cooling systems.
Supplementing air method
“Free methods”: Supplementing air or liquid based cooling methods:
These methods use outside air and evaporation to transfer heat while reducing the cost of operating chillers and compressors.
The design of a data centre cooling system is a complicated task, and it takes experience and knowledge to achieve the right solution.
The right commercial cooling and refrigeration expert can help you implement the best data centre cooling solution for your needs: be it designing a new computer room, floor, or data centre from the ground up or replacing an existing cooling solution to improve IT reliability and uptime, or even reconfiguring your current data centre cooling solution to support growth and efficiency.
Furthermore, a properly maintained data centre cooling system saves energy, is more efficient and reduces the risk of equipment failure.