In a world where organizations are striving to become “greener,” Energy Efficiency is at the forefront of the conversation. In a five-year period between 2005-2010, the US saw a 36% increase alone in Data Center power consumption. Obviously power consumption is one of the top expenses hitting a Data Center’s bottom line.
With most large data centers effectively employing some form of containment to address growing costs for electricity and a static amount of power supply, containment has taken strong root in the data center floor plan. In this segment we will briefly touch on what Data Center Containment is, the benefits of an effective design, and recommendations to consider when planning for the future efficiency.
What is Data Center Containment?
Though Data Center Containment, and Data Center Cooling work together in harmony, the core purpose of the two vastly differ. While there are a variety of designs available to cool a Data Center, Rack, or Row, the main purpose of the containment is to optimize the cooling at the highest efficiency.
Data center containment applies barriers, components and methods to contain and direct air flow to keep hot and cold air from mixing within the environment. Air mixing dilutes the cooling process by warming cool air intended for the rack equipment and servers. Therefore, the required power consumption of the CRAC/CRAH units drastically increases while reducing the efficiency of the cooling units
What Is the Benefit of Containment?
Containment directs hot air to air conditioning return ducts, and cold air to equipment rack fronts. Separating hot and cold air enables cooling equipment to efficiently bring the hottest air down to a predetermined, appropriate temperature, lowering energy bills and eliminating the need for additional cooling equipment. The industry refers to this substantial difference between the supply and return air temperatures as the Delta T (∆T). For more information on how to calculate Delta T, and what it means, reach out to Cwilson@legacyDenver.com.
Therefore, it would seem the reasons to consider Data Center Containment would be evident. Reduction to the Air Supply Path, as well as reduction to the Return Path can save Facility Managers up to 30 percent on their annual utility bill. Furthermore, additional savings may be available through rebates from your local power company.
Data Center Containment is quickly growing in popularity. A recent survey predicts about 78 percent of Data Centers have deployed or are in the process of deploying some form of Cooling Containment. This comes as no surprise, as the power densities allowed on a per rack basis are increasing year after year along with technological advancements. With technology advancing as rapidly as it is, most data centers are wasting more than 60 percent of their cooling energy in the form of bypass air. With an increase in power densities, so too will there be an increase in the annual cost of electricity. This is why it is imperative to begin looking into Containment Solutions for IT operations. Becoming green while saving money to the operational bottom line…. how can that be beaten?
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