How are data centers cooled

How are data centers cooled? A 21st-century approach

How are data centers cooled? A 21st-century approach

The aspect of data center cooling has become crucial with the growing dependency of IT enterprises on the data center. As the older data centers are starting to get replaced by the new hyper-scale facilities, it is becoming even more essential to ensure effective power utilization and efficiency of these new data centers.

Need to improve cooling efficiency

According to secondary research, data centers consume approximately (1-1.5) % of global electricity, which is expected to rise further with digital transformation. With such an increase in power density, the data centers would need an efficient cooling strategy to keep the equipment from getting damaged due to fire or excessive heat. The cooling system in a modern data center follows the below parameters to achieve efficiency since the cooling system is directly connected with the overall efficiency of the data center.

  • Temperatures of the server room
  • Cooling performance of the deployed system
  • Energy consumption while cooling the data center
  • Type and characteristic of the cooling fluid

The following are the challenges any business faces without an efficient data center cooling in action.

  • High cost to deploy cooling infrastructure
  • Lack of temperature monitoring capability
  • Poor airflow management
  • Increase in power costs

Different types of cooling systems

Let us now consider the various cooling systems that work well with the data center industry.

  • Row cooling system: This is a cost-saving solution with high cooling capacity within a compact space. It can be connected to either Existing Building chillers or DX Based Outdoor units.
  • PAC Unit: These are the Pression cooling unit with either Bottom throw or Top throw cooling unit which can be used for small and medium density application. It can also be connected to either Existing Building chillers or DX Based Outdoor units.
  • Chilled Water System: This technology is commonly used in mid-to-large-sized data centers. Here, chilled water is used to cool data center air heated by Computer Room Air Handler (CRAHs).
  • Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC): The technology used here is similar to the conventional air conditioners powered by a compressor that draws air through a coolant.
  • Evaporative Cooling: This technology ensures that the warm air is exposed to water, which results in evaporation of the water and drawing the heat out of the air with it. This system utilizes CRAC or CRAH units and requires a lot of water. Datacenter cooling towers often facilitate the evaporation process and transfer excess heat outside.
  • Free Cooling: This energy-efficient server cooling option uses air from the atmosphere to cool down the data center air.

Future of data center cooling and its efficiency

The modern-day data center focuses on liquid cooling technologies that are cost-efficient and scalable, including immersion cooling and direct chip cooling. Depending upon the need of the data center, a company can invest in apt cooling technology to enhance the overall efficiency of the data center.

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