Data Center Cooling: The Latest Trends

05/15/2018 | By Janelle Penny

BUILDINGS Media Episode 3: Data Center Cooling Trends

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Here's what we're talking about

Cooling is a constant concern for managers of data centers and server rooms. Not only is it expensive, but it’s required 24/7 to keep critical equipment within a safe temperature range. However, the large demand for data center cooling means that incremental efficiency improvements add up quickly.

  • Growing trends in data center cooling 
  • New roles for portable cooling
  • Smarter airflow management
  • Other ways to save money
  • Find more resources

3 Trends in Data Center Cooling Technology

1) Liquid-based cooling. Liquids transfer heat much more efficiently than air does, so implementing a cooling system that uses fluid to move heat away from servers can accomplish the same job as an air-based HVAC system with much less work. Some of the more popular liquid-based cooling systems include:

  • Warm-water cold-plate technology: The cold plates move liquid under devices. Using warm water in them instead of cold water means you no longer need a chiller to make cold water.
  • Water-side economizers: You may already be familiar with air-side economizers. Both types use outside weather conditions to offset some or all of the inside cooling. The difference is that a water-side model uses water loops and a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger to either supplement or replace the chiller.
  • Immersion cooling: The data servers are either filled with dielectric fluid or placed in tanks of it. Liquid contact systems are similar but instead of totally immersing the server, the liquid contact system flows a fluid through the server to absorb heat from its heat sink.

2) Portable cooling. Portable units have been around for years, but they’re increasingly being used as primary cooling in places like in-building server rooms or facilities in areas with mild temperatures. They’re also great if you have budget or flexibility issues because they’re usually cheaper than permanent data center cooling systems and you can move them wherever you need them.

3) Smarter airflow management. Good space management means your existing HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard. The key is to minimize hot and cold air mixing so you’re not conditioning the same air twice. This can include effective containment strategies like hot and cold aisle configurations.

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Liquid Cooling Grows in Popularity

As with any new trend, liquid-based cooling needs time to grow in popularity, but newer liquid cooling technologies have improved a lot in terms of cost and risk. Data center managers are starting to catch on to how low the total cost of ownership can be, and many of the original concerns about liquid coolants (namely, the amount of storage space required and the inherent risks of having large quantities of oil-based coolant on-site) have been addressed by manufacturers.

Learn Other Ways to Save Money

Good management strategies are at the heart of any cost-cutting initiative.

Check out our featured webinar sponsored by MovinCool and Yaskawa, Optimizing Existing Data Centers to Increase Efficiencies and Lower Operating Costs. Chuck Kensky, Executive Vice President for Bala Consulting Engineers, will explain how to optimize equipment and operation for lower cooling costs.

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Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.

Connectrac® wireways are the new standard for bringing power & communications cable management to all interior applications. Free yourself from core drilling!

Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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