There are a number of ways to effectively and efficiently cool a data center. Below are some considerations when looking to add cooling to your critical space.
Strategy: Understand the cooling methodology for your data center: air and/or water; raised floor; hot/cold aisle; containment; perimeter cooling; localized cooling; liquid cooling; etc. Establishing a new cooling method to be used in combination with an existing system can be tricky, but knowing how each will operate is critical. How will adding more cooling work in conjunction with the existing cooling systems?
Know the Load: Fundamental understanding of your cooling needs is important to the capacities of the cooling equipment you may need. The temperatures and humidity levels of the inlet and outlet air will dictate the performance of the equipment. On paper or spreadsheet it may see you already have adequate cooling, but with difference operating temperatures or humidity levels the net cooling for the space changes. How much load will be added and how will the cooling match or exceed the maximum required?
Know the Airflow: Airflow to the equipment, bypass and recirculation need to be considered. Keeping the IT equipment cool is a matter of delivering the correct amount of cooling air to the equipment where needed. Most data centers are designed with excess cooling capacity to counterbalance the airflow losses. And as long as these inefficiencies exist excessive energy consumption will continue. Improving the airflow management is a better way to cool the IT equipment. And although airflow fundamentals for a data center may be straight forward, implementation of better practices is surprisingly poor. How can understanding of the airflow change the cooling required? Could there still be hot spots and air-starved areas after adding cooling capacity?
Options: Determine whether matching existing systems will be the most beneficial and if your other systems, such as chilled water, can support the additional cooling equipment. Does your load warrant a newly revamped cooling system or just a temporary portable solution? Who are the trusted manufacturers and who offers the best solution for what I need? Is there a means to allocate the loads differently to aid the cooling systems? And ultimately will the solution solve the cooling problems?
Posted in: CFD, Controls, Cooling, DCIM, Energy, Water
Filed under: Airflow, Cooling, Strategy