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For some server room and data centre applications the server racks may require additional cooling support. This can be provided by some form of in-rack cooling solution based on improving airflow movement within the cabinet or the use of more close-proximity refrigerant or chilled water precision cooling solutions. Examples include low density racks in small computer rooms and high-density server racks used in Edge computing datacentres.
Building cooling into a server rack cabinet is sometimes the best solution when precision cooling is required. Installing cooling into a rack will improve air flow and can lead to the air conditioner and rack cabinet operating in closed airflow loop. Using in rack cooling can force cold air to pass through the servers and hot air to flow as intended via the rear of the cabinet into a hot aisle for return to the cooling unit.
In-rack cooling is like in-row cooling but with smaller airflow paths and can therefore be more energy efficient. The hot exhaust air is also captured at its maximum temperature point for the Delta-T of the cooling coil. Using an in-rack fan tray within a managed air flow server rack is a form of airflow containment, like a hot-aisle and cold-aisle arrangement but within the footprint of a standard server rack.
Fan trays are typically used for in-rack cooling applications. The fan trays help to improve air flow through the rack and can be mounted on the roof, sides, door or rear of the cabinets. The fan trays can be removable and easy to access for maintenance and cleaning. The effectiveness of fan trays is improved using blanking plates on the front of the server racks and sealant or tape on side gaps. A range of fan trays is available and bespoke designs can be manufactured including standard single-phase, three-phase, AC and DC configurations.
Low density in-rack cooling solutions tend to be available from stock as part of a standard product range. Server Room Environments also provides a bespoke design and manufacturing service.
For high density racks the in-rack solution may use chilled water or refrigerant, either as a side cabinet or rear rack door assembly. Inside the server rack, the IT equipment and server racks are air cooled with the cool air supplied by the chilled water or refrigerant-based cooling systems which will also include external (outside the server room or datacentre) chillers and heat exchange or heat capture elements.
High density in-rack cooling systems include standard chilled water and refrigerant systems as well as bespoke designs manufactured to a project specific specification managed by the Server Room Environments cooling team.