Data Center Cooling Methods

published October 27, 2021
Image of Data Servers in Computer Room

Keeping It Cool: Data Center Cooling Methods

Data centers with critical power need often generate an immense amount of heat, due to the large computing and data processing requirements. When it is not controlled, this heat can damage the central processing infrastructure, leading to disruption of workflow. This is why it is important that the centers incorporate cooling mechanisms into their primary infrastructure.

Data Center Cooling methods

Because data centers are open 24 hours a day, they consume a lot of electricity. This electricity generates a lot of heat because it is utilized to power the servers and process all of the data. If the heat is not evacuated, the electrical components will overheat and fail, possibly catching fire.

There are several methods that are used to cool data centers.

1. Computer Room Air Conditioner and Handlers

Computer Room Air Conditioners resemble domestic air conditioners, but they are specifically built for use in server rooms. The compressor draws air in and draws it over the refrigerant, providing cool air for the room. Because they are the most cost-effective, CRAC units are the most widely used system.

On the other hand, Computer Room Air Handlers run on a more complex system. They work by pumping cold water into the handler and drawing it across a cooling coil. Modulated fans bring air in from the outside of the building. CRAH is more effective in areas that are chilly all year.

Raised floors and Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC) or Computer Room Air Handler (CRAH) units are common in data centers. The CRAC/CRAH devices pressurize the space beneath the elevated floor and force cold air via perforated tiles into the server inputs to chill the data systems. The cold air is re-circulated to the CRAC/CRAH for cooling after passing over the server and being blown out as a hot exhaust. The CRAC/CRAH return temperature is often employed as the main control point for the whole data floor in many data centers.

2. Calibrated Vector Cooling

With high-density servers, this data center cooling solution is more prevalent. Calibrated Vectored Cooling (CVC) improves the efficiency of airflow in the server room by optimizing the airflow path across equipment, allowing the cooling system to better regulate heat. It circulates cool air through the equipment's hottest and most important sections. The purpose of this technology is to cool more servers per unit with fewer fans and less power.

3. Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle Design

Alternating rows of "cold aisles" and "hot aisles" are used in this data center cooling arrangement. Cold air intakes are located on the front of the racks, while hot air exhausts are positioned on the back of the racks. Hot aisles push hot air into air conditioning intakes, where it is chilled before being released into cold aisles. Blanking panels are used to fill empty racks to reduce overheating and misdirected cold air.

Which Data Center Cooling system is the best?

Each data center cooling technique available has its own merits and demerits. The best choice for your organization will mostly depend on;

  • The size of your data center (e.g., small, mid-sized, or large)
  • The density of your data center
  • Available space for installation of the data cooling system
  • Future plans for expansion and upgrades
  • The available budget to be spent on cooling system design, installation, and maintenance

Infrastructure Solutions Partner

At Davis Infrastructure, we work directly with leading manufacturers to source and install the most appropriate data center cooling technology and product solutions, with Polargy aisle confinement and structured ceiling being our primary airflow solutions.

These solutions are tailored to the demands and scope of your project and designed to achieve simplicity, low cost, and quick field installation.

Contact Davis Infrastructure

Davis Infrastructure is a traditional manufacturer’s representative firm focusing on mission-critical needs of engineers, contractors, and end-users in Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Contact us to learn more about our product and service offerings.


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