The Importance of Proper Cooling and Airflow In Data Centers

Posted by Gaw Technology on 7/30/2013

If you work in a data center you know about the importance of keeping your servers cool.  Overheated servers could lead to a variety of problems, to something is minor as having to repair them for heat damage to something major like a server room fire.  Keeping a room that is tightly packed with heat generating servers cool can be difficult, but it's an absolutely essential part for maintaining a functioning server room.  Recent research by Upsite Technologies of 45 computer rooms reveals that on average 48% of conditioned air is escaping from unsealed openings and misplaced perforated tiles.

Airflow management can increase data center energy efficiency by freeing up stranded airflow and cooling capacity and making it available for future needs.  Air leaks, obstructions, perforated tile locations, cable penetrations, and missing blanking plates can cause poor air distribution, but they can easily be fixed with the right airflow management techniques.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has a handy pdf file that is full of information on proper air flow management techniques.  You can read everything they have to say if you click the link, but we highlighted a few simple to do repair suggestions named in the document.

-Remove or relocate as many obstructions to airflow under floor as practical

-Fix under floor air leaks primarily at cable and pipe penetrations under racks

-Install missing blanking plates and side panel in server racks

-Re-locate tiles to balance under floor flow

Those repairs are relatively simple and inexpensive to do, and those easy repairs can do a lot to improve the airflow in your sever room.  Their document also mentioned the importance of utilizing data cabinets and server racks in your airflow and cooling process to maximize their cooling effects.  They offered these tips for maximizing the cooling and airflow abilities for your server racks and cabinets:

-Locate servers to minimize vertical and horizontal empty space in racks

-Consolidate cable penetrations to reduce leaks

-Load racks bottom first in under floor distribution systems

-Use blanking plates and panels

-Eliminate floor openings in hot aisles

-Establish hot and cold airstream isolation

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