Efficient Cooling Relies On Ensuring Proper Airflow & Preventing Air From Mixing
Cooling is always a hot topic in data centers because it is essential to ensuring the operational efficiency of your equipment, but it can also contribute to higher operating costs if not done correctly. Hot aisle/cold aisle containment is a popular approach to cooling that aims to not only improve efficiency but also maximize your overall cooling investment. Here are some ways to either develop a hot/cold aisle strategy or improve your existing approach.
Balance the Airflow
Airflow balance is another key aspect of cooling efficiency. Ward Patton, critical environment specialist at Simplex Isolation Systems (949-939-0412), equates the process to pouring a liquid from a pitcher into a pint glass. “You have all of this excess, and what’s happening is that if you don’t balance the airflow, you’re using way too much air conditioning for the area that you’re trying to cool.”
Overcooling can lead to inefficiency and higher costs, but by making some small tweaks, you can improve performance. “Once you implement the hot aisle/cold aisle containment, you build instant redundancy into the air conditioners that you have,” Patton says. “If you’re already getting it done with what you’ve got, you’re going to be ultra-efficient and have a backup for some type of catastrophic failure.”
Every data center is different. Hot aisle/cold aisle containment should be considered for almost any data center, but the layout may be different. “Take a hard look at your facility,” says Ward Patton, critical environment specialist at Simplex Isolation Systems (949-939-0412; www.simplexstripdoors.com). “If you have a facility that has a 16-foot ceiling, you don’t want to do a hot aisle in there because it doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. But if you have an 8-foot drop ceiling and can use that area between the drop ceiling and the hard deck, you can use that to recirculate the air back down to the air conditioning.”
(Edited and reprinted with permission from Processor Magazine)