At Cole Systems Associates, Inc. (New York), the building’s air conditioning was not providing enough cooling to the data center. Since the company specializes in technology solutions, it is critical to deliver adequate cooling to existing server room equipment and also to protect against failure if new equipment is added. Any possibility of server shutdown would be “unacceptable”, according to Mickey Hunt, Cole Systems manager of support services.
Excessive heat generation in dedicated server rooms is a well-known and growing issue, as companies increasingly use smaller servers with faster processors. Cole Systems found an effective and economical solution to this challenge: a 5-ton portable air conditioner rated for 60,000 BTUs, manufactured by KwiKool Portable Cooling Systems and supplied by Atlas Sales & Rentals, Inc.
Hunt says Cole Systems first investigated a conventionally installed (i.e., non-portable) HVAC system for the server room. He explains: “We had several HVAC contractors come in and provide estimates to provide a solution that would provide adequate cooling and a backup solution in case of failure. The contractors all proposed a 5-ton unit installation for primary cooling, while using the existing solution (3-ton) as a backup solution if and when the 5-ton solution failed.” Hunt says the two units combined would provide an 8-ton solution for his computer room.
“The problem we faced,” he says, “was that solution costs were too high. The average estimated cost was $40,000. In my search for other solutions, I used the Internet to get an idea of what types of solutions were available in the 5-ton cooling range. I discovered that there were several portable units that could provide the cooling requirements we needed.” Hunt checked out several air- and water-cooled units and made some phone calls to different providers that offered these types of units.
According to Hunt, after making several calls, he chose Atlas Sales & Rentals because of the company’s responsiveness and experience with similar applications, and asked the company’s Bergen, N.J. office to survey the server room and provide a recommendation. Fred Herbst, manager of the Atlas office, comments: “We were able to come up with an effective solution that would only cost $6,500 – a $33,500 savings over the cost of non-portable HVAC equipment to cool the same space.”
Hunt worked out an implementation plan with Atlas and reports: “Implementation went extremely well for us. We had all the prerequisite installation tasks completed in one week, and the unit was delivered and installed the following week, as scheduled. In our case, all we needed to do was select a location in our server room, install the required electrical outlet, provide a way to drain the water (the unit comes with its own pump; you need to provide only a host and location for the water that is collected), and supply venting to remove the hot air from the server room.”
The footprint of the KwiKool 5-ton unit was well suited because it fits in neatly between the mainframes. Hunt says that the portable air conditioner has been installed for over a year and has worked extremely well, with no problems experienced. He adds, “It provides 5 tons of cooling, and the thermostat is conveniently located on the front control panel. The panel is very easy to use and also provides several cooling options.”
As an interesting sidelight, during the winter months hot air exhaust from the portable unit is vented out of the computer room to heat the hallway outside, adding a green benefit.
Hunt summarizes, “The unit has worked as designed and has provided the solution we needed at a total installation cost of $6,500 (vs. the $40,000 cost for a building-provided solution). If and when we need more cooling, we are ready to install a second unit because we know how easy the first installation was for us. For a 5-ton solution, the unit is only half the size of a standard server rack. The unit is also on wheels, which are locked on final positioning. If necessary, the unit can be replaced easily by disconnecting the power, hoses and ducts, and wheeling in a replacement.”
All in all, Hunt says Atlas Sales & Rentals’ KwiKool 5-ton portable air conditioner has definitely solved the company’s server room heat problem. He concludes, “The server room maintains a temperature of 68 degrees, and we have the portable unit providing primary cooling with the existing building equipment providing a temporary solution if the portable unit should fail. To date, the building unit has failed twice in the last year, and the portable unit provided by Atlas has been running 24/7 with no issues.”
Founded in 1987, Cole Systems has been providing organizations with technology solutions since the early days of business computing. The company focuses on solutions in three key areas: Business Applications, Software Development, and Network Infrastructure.
A leader in the portable cooling market since 1979, Atlas Sales & Rentals is a GSA Certified MAS Contractor with offices and affiliates nationwide. The company offers a full line of cooling, heating, and dehumidification products, including portable coolers that may be used for primary, supplemental or emergency cooling. The units are popular because they can be installed virtually anywhere, usually in a short time frame. All of the KwiKool models offered by Atlas are manufactured in the U.S.A. and come with microprocessor digital controls and easy-touch control panels. They can also be controlled remotely.