Computer servers generate heat, challenging cooling in high-volume data centers. Some facilities use outdated air-conditioning strategies that cause energy bills to climb, but certain Cleveland data centers take a more modern approach that saves money without compromising on equipment safety and stability.
CRAC Speed Reduction
Computer room air conditioning units (CRACs) use much power and can account for up to 10% of a particular data center’s overall energy use. To keep hosted servers sufficiently cool, most facilities run multiple CRACs concurrently, 24 hours a day.
Some Cleveland data centers use variable-speed instead of fixed-speed CRAC units. This means the units operate only at the speed required to preserve the desired temperature. A 10% reduction in fan velocity reduces that machine’s electricity consumption by around 25%, and a 20% decrease yields energy savings of approximately 45%.
Hot and Cold Aisles
In a hot/cold aisle layout, the ‘corridors’ between facing racks are enclosed, with doors at either end and a ceiling. Cool air blows into this enclosed space, with ducts directing the breezes to the components that overheat the most. Each rack becomes its own contained setup, so the amount of air that needs to be cooled is reduced even further.
In many Cleveland facilities, the hot air is collected and used to heat up water using a special pump or released into other parts of the building that require more warmth, contributing further to HVAC efficiency.
Although careful containment layouts have a demonstrated impact on cooling in data centers, many businesses follow the same old pattern when designing a building. Any sections not dedicated to the data hall are crammed with as many server racks as they can. This approach creates problems like the following:
- Difficult or precarious rack placement
- Problems with containment duct layout
- Higher operating expenses (if the building is too large)
- Reduced operating capacity (if the layout is too small/limited)
Several Cleveland data centers take a different approach: the building design is oriented around the rack layouts that match the projected needs.
It’s a case of determining what’s required and building around it instead of using a standard facility template and trying to make it fit.
Cooling and power resources are properly allocated so that nothing is over-used (or under-used, for that matter.) The result is a more efficient- and effective- data center.
The Bottom Line
Cleveland data centers don’t all use revolutionary cooling and power technologies but use existing resources in better, more sustainable ways. Insightful building design and well-thought-out cooling strategies go a long way toward reducing data center power consumption.
How does your data center efficiently use its cooling and power resources? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.