Server Room Cooling Systems

Selecting the right server room cooling system for your server room or datacentre is a critical infrastructure decision. Installing the right air conditioning system will lead to lower operating costs, improved energy efficiency, controlled server room humidity, correct server room temperature and increased resilience in terms of the IT hardware and accessories within the cooled environment. Our small server room cooling solutions include wall mounted and ceiling suspended units.

Computer Room Air Conditioning

The cooling system consultants at Server Room Environments are air conditioning experts. They have decades of experience installing, upgrading and maintaining air conditioners in a wide range of IT environments. Specific in-row and CRAC unit projects include:

  • Air conditioning and energy usage audits including FGAS compliance
  • Resilient system designs with N+1 redundancy or greater built-into the overall design
  • Lowering operating costs for air conditioning clients
  • Monitoring air conditioning systems on a 24/7 basis under maintenance contracts
  • Upgrading legacy air conditioners to improve energy usage and lower physical sizes
  • Third party air conditioner system maintenance contracts with emergency call out
  • Cooling system repairs and spares supply
  • Cooling zone thermodynamic design and installation planning
  • Cooling and air flow accessories including vented floor tiles, ducting and blanking plates
  • Hot-aisle and cold-aisle containment
  • Compliance to ASHRAE standard recommendations
  • Decontamination zones
  • Improving server room air distribution

Server Room Air Conditioners

Server Room Environments supplies a complete range of cooling systems from small in-rack air conditioners to in-row cooling units to complete IT facility cooling systems. 

Air conditioning and cooling projects differ from site to site. Our air conditioning experts review each based on years of experience:

  • Scalability and adaptability to today’s and future cooling needs
  • Availability and resilience in terms of N, N+X and 2N design
  • In-life operating, energy efficiency and maintenance costs
  • Maintenance contract requirements and serviceability
  • Ease of use and operation

Server rooms require air conditioning systems that are designed for such demanding environments. The industry standard is to offer two types of cooling based on chilled water-cooling or refrigerant-cooling. The latter are known as ‘DX’ units which stands for direct expansion. DX systems can be packaged or split and cool an environment as the evaporator is in direct contact with the room air supply. Expansion refers to the refrigerant treatment and the refrigerant vapour expansion/compression (RVEC cycle) which is used directly cool the air supply. The refrigerant flows into a compressor to condense the volume of air and release the heat

In a server room or datacentre environment there are three general types of air conditioning system

  • Air conditioners (DX)
  • Computer room air handlers (CRAHs)
  • Computer room air conditioners (CRACs)

Off-the-shelf air conditioners tend to be used in small server rooms. These are designed for comfort-cooling for offices and their compact size, low-installation costs, performance and availability makes them ideal for server room environments.

CRAHs and CRACs tend to be designed for bespoke installations and specifications including heat load, temperature regulation, operating periods (normally 24/7), resilience (N+X), humidity control, energy efficiency, cooling methodology (local characteristics) and even the environmental and corporate social responsibilities of the organisation. The latter policies can include the need to make use of local cooling (free-air-cooling) and even the re-use of heat in the local community.

Whichever cooling system is installed, the units will have two primary stages of operation. The first is the removal of heat from the environment and the second, the ejection or exchange of the collected heat via a condenser, dry-cooler, tower or chiller to the outside ambient environment.

ASHRAE is the main point of reference when it comes to building cooling. ASHRAE stands for (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers). The organisation publishes guidance for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry (HVAC) for IT environments and critical infrastructures. ASHRAE has proposed allowing computer room temperatures to rise allowing for reduce cooling and improved energy usage.

All server room and datacentre hardware generates heat at a level that is dependent on its overall energy efficiency and design. To correctly design a cooling system for an IT environment means not just taking this heat into account but the heat generated by all systems and components within the critical environment. This must include heat output and energy losses from uninterruptible power supplies and PDUs, electrical distribution (switchgear and distribution boxes), lighting and the heat gain from the building design itself in terms of wall, floor, windows and ceiling. The presence of people must also be considered in terms of heat and humidity.

The final elements to consider is the room layout in terms of air flow, obstacles, walls, doors, access points/times and the location of the cooling systems, IT server racks, UPS systems and the CRACs and CRAHs themselves. All these values and assumptions can be input into a fluid dynamics model for assessment.

Contact the cooling experts at Server Room Environments for more information. on our server room cooling solutions. We supply a complete range of air conditioning systems including: ceiling suspended, wall-mounted, in-row and computer room air conditioners (CRACs) and air handling (CRAH) units.

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