Using the Virtual Facility to illustrate the point, David King demonstrates the considerable benefits of controlling air temperature on the supply of the air handler rather than the return. By doing so, temperatures being supplied to IT equipment are more predictable, offering the potential for raised water temperatures and reduced data center running costs.
Online PR News – 19-November-2010 – – London, UK, November 18, 2010 -- "Controlling temperature in the data center is critical to achieving maximum uptime and efficiency," says David King, Consultant Engineer at Future Facilities. ( http://www.futurefacilities.com ) "But while data center layouts have moved swiftly to segregate hot and cool airstreams, typical air handler strategies are still rooted in the mainframe and comms room principles that have been in use since the last century."
The importance of airflow management and close temperature control has become increasingly evident as power and equipment density in the data center has risen. Legacy cooling design strategies have proven unable to meet the cooling capacity requirements of blades and other compact servers. But even as cooling system design issues are addressed the question is raised as to whether temperature is being controlled in the correct place to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
Controlling the temperature in the data centre largely takes return air temperature as an indication of the ambient air temperature in the space. It is often forgotten that the purpose of cooling is to provide air of an acceptable temperature and humidity to IT equipment at its inlet. It seems obvious then that return air temperature is not an appropriate measure of the IT inlet temperature. Whilst this is not a new idea, adoption of the strategy has been slow.
To model the thesis, a computer-generated Virtual Facility has been constructed. The Virtual Facility is an accurate 3D representation of the data center, incorporating ACUs, IT equipment, PDUs, racks and other familiar data center equipment. Using Future Facilities’ ( http://www.futurefacilities.com ) 6SigmaDC software for data center design and operation, CFD analysis of the space provides an accurate account of the thermal performance of the facility layout. The benefit of modelling in real life is that decisions regarding equipment placement can be tested to ensure thermal effectiveness before any work is carried out in the data center, reducing risk to the load.
In "The Benefits of Supply Air Temperature Control in the Data Center", ( http://www.futurefacilities.com/newsarticles/downloads/supplycontrol/supplycontrol_request.htm ) a Virtual Facility is created for a typical 652m2 data center with 200 equipment racks, which is modelled under various load conditions. The Virtual Facility is used to measure thermal efficiency and effectiveness when the cooling system is set up using return air control, and to test the improvements which can be obtained controlling supply air temperature with a sensor in the supply air stream.
The paper demonstrates that there are significant advantages switching to a supply temperature control strategy. Since many modern cooling units are set up for this approach, or can be modified very simply, the cost and control improvements make a compelling argument for its implementation. The strategy is able to manage an expanding IT estate, keeping server temperature within a tighter band and enabling more predictable headroom between chilled water and supply air temperature.
The potential for energy and running cost savings are facility-specific, and data center managers are encouraged to contact Future Facilities to discuss how these can be modelled and maximized. For a copy of the new White Paper "The Benefits of Supply Air Temperature Control in the Data Center" or to find out more about the Virtual Facility and 6SigmaDC data center design and operations software suite please visit http://www.futurefacilities.com or call Future Facilities on +44 (0)207 840 9540.
About Future Facilities:
Future Facilities ( http://www.futurefacilities.com ) is a leading provider of powerful design, optimization and management software for mission critical facilities and data centers. The company’s solutions are applied to ensure all capacity, efficiency and reliability criteria are met throughout all phases of the facility lifecycle.
For Further Information:
Future Facilities Limited
1 Salamanca Street
London SE1 7HX UK
+44 (0) 20 7840 9540
Press & Media Contact:
Damien Wells, Director
SPA Communications Limited
1 - 3 Lime Hill Road
Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1LJ UK
+44 (0) 7900 302102