Data Centre Operations Blog

Air-side free-cooling: direct or indirect systems?

Often when data centre free cooling is discussed, people assume this means direct fresh air cooling. People intuitively assume that direct cooling ismore efficient because there are less components. It’s as simple as opening a window! However, in many cases this is absolutely incorrect. Indirect systems have unappreciated advantages.

(ASHRAE 2015 Publication) – $1.7 Energy Efficiency Case Study

In 2014, Operational Intelligence and the Operations team of a global finance service firm achieved an exceptional result. Through energy assessments, data hall temperature measurements and operator education workshops we implemented air management improvements, optimised fan control and gradually increased air and chilled water temperature set points to achieve significant financial savings through reduced energy costs. On top of that we installed an indirect free cooling circuit. This resulted in a PUE reduction,.. Read More

European code of conduct on data centre energy efficiency participant usage guide

It can be difficult and frustrating to receive organisational funding and project approval. By holistically analysing which initiatives deliver the maximum benefit, operators can prioritise improvements and produce a strong business case to approve changes to reduce energy and mitigate risk. Our team help curate the European code of conduct on data centre energy efficiency participant usage guide. For the full publication, please follow the link.

Trigeneration or Free-Cooling

The data centre industry is immersed in an interesting innovation process in search of higher efficiencies. One idea is using trigeneration, where electricity is generated (via engine or turbine) and its residual heat is used as a heat source for an absorption chiller. For example, a car engine provides mechanical energy to move the car and waste heat for heating (radiator). Trigeneration systems tend to be more expensive and complex than traditional systems,.. Read More

The Gartner Data centre power and cooling technologies hype cycle

For those thinking of investing in new technologies for data centres, this is a must read document. It describes most technologies and concludes that mainly those related to fundamental issues of cooling and UPS as likely to survive the hype cycle. (Reproduced by courtesy of Gartner) As the applications of technologies are changing fast, this work should be updated when possible. It would be useful to explain the outcome differences between ‘on site.. Read More

The Age of Contained Air Managed Cooling

At DCD London November 2010 Neil Rassmussen has challenged the traditional raised floor cooling by referring to it as “the end of raised floor cooling”. Whilst I agree with the end of an era of “open air management” cooling systems (which mostly use raised floor cooling) I think we will still continue to see raised floor cooling designs and for valid reasons. I have been involved or am aware of recent designs that.. Read More

Cold air as a renewable source of cooling

Why not? Providing it is at a colder temperature than what we need to supply to IT equipment, it is cheaper than other renewable technologies (tidal, wind, solar, geothermal), it readily available in all the world, and it only has the embodied energy of the air handling units. Even if the temperature of the air is warm, unless it is saturated with water vapour, it just requires adiabatic cooling (using water) to bring.. Read More

“Human Unawareness” of Energy Saving Potential

While “human error” is responsible for most mission critical facilities failures, “human unawareness” is responsible for easily avoidable energy wastage in data centres. For most data centres 10-30% energy savings can be achieved with low investments. In a typical 1000m2 raised floor data centre, savings of hundreds of thousands of £, USD, Euros per year can be achieved with Return on Investments (ROI) under a year. Air management is normally the fundamental first.. Read More

Air Performance

“I have 1200kW of CRAC units installed in a data centre designed to 1000kW of IT load which is currently loaded to 80%, so I should be OK”. Wrong, or at least you are not looking the right information. What is really missing is how much of that air cooled by CRAC units actually makes it to the IT equipment. The following diagram shows that approximately only 50% of the CRAC air actually.. Read More