Cooling the room that houses your ICT infrastructure is paramount. The right temperature and relative humidity are therefore vital if the equipment set up is to function optimally and last.
A data centre's PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) is an important indicator of the energy-efficiency of the equipment. It describes the relationship between the total energy being consumed by the data centre as a whole and the proportion of energy actually being used by the IT equipment. The aim is to minimize the “remainder” (which is predominantly being consumed by the cooling), thereby optimizing the PUE (PUE =1 is theoretically the best that can be achieved).
All electrical energy consumed by your IT equipment gets converted into heat. In order to prevent the equipment from overheating, your computer room should therefore be cooled reliably and efficiently. Furthermore, the relative humidity should also be monitored. In recent years great strides have been made in terms of climate control for data centres. On the one hand this is due to the ever increasing power density of the equipment, and on the other there is increasing interest in more efficient ways of ensuring heat dissipation in view of the fact that a sizeable proportion of the extra energy required is down to the cooling (over and above the energy already needed for the IT equipment). Considerable savings in costs can often be made as a result, with the time required to see a return on investment being short. ICTroom is hot on the heels of all developments and is itself also relentless in its efforts to improve and optimize cooling concepts. ICTroom is therefore exceedingly well placed to advise on any decision relating to the system that would best suit your situation. Broadly speaking, the following concepts can be distinguished:
This method of heat dissipation (which is basically synonymous with cooling) is so called because of its use of rotating components (compressors) which ultimately enable cooling. The heat transfer is done using a cooling medium, which can be a coolant (for DX systems) or cooled water. Mechanical cooling is reliable but not always equally energy-efficient. For that reason we often combine this technique with other concepts, including free-air cooling.
As long as the outside air temperature is sufficiently low, it will also be possible to have the cooling medium cooled by the outside air directly, without the need for energy-hungry mechanical cooling. This will result in a huge reduction in the amount of energy consumed given that free-air cooling can be used for much of the year. ICTroom has been using free-air cooling for many years now, enabling many of our customers to reduce their carbon footprint.
Direct ventilation cooling
The room can also be cooled by blowing cool air from outside straight in. Once the air has been heated by the IT equipment it is extracted elsewhere in the room. This method of cooling is highly efficient as well, though it cannot always be used for a variety of reasons. It also necessitates measures vis-à-vis fire (inc. outdoors), extinguishing, dust and moisture.
In-Direct ventilation cooling (Air-2-Air)
In the case of indirect ventilation cooling the hot air from the IT room is recirculated, albeit after first being cooled by channelling it through an air-to-air heat exchanger. A counterflow of cool outside air is circulated through this heat exchanger as well. The two airflows do not come into contact with one another but do heat/cool one another. This is, if the situation permits, another efficient method of cooling as well... though we stress again: only if the situation permits. After all, air requires a volume around 4000 times greater than water to transfer the same amount of heat.
The use of Airflow Management ensures cold air from the cooling units is channelled to precisely those places where the need for cooling is most pressing. Furthermore, facilities are installed to ensure that cold air cannot inadvertently be lost through leakage or be given an opportunity to mix with the warm return air (emissions) from IT equipment. Thanks to Airflow Management, then, cooling units are utilized as efficiently as possible. Here, it's all about precision cooling, resulting in a drastic reduction in energy consumption, a smaller carbon footprint, and a green(er) data centre with the capacity to generate considerable savings in costs.
Cooling Alley® / Hot Alley
One of ICTroom’s innovations is the Cooling Alley®, a cooling concept for data centres, computer centres and computer rooms. A Cooling Alley® increases output by 30%. Computer equipment is set up in such a way that separate air pathways are created, thereby preventing cold and hot air from mixing. This enables a higher output with the same cooling capacity.