Cooling Integrated Approach Paul Lin Sr, research analyst at Schneider Electric, explains how an integrated approach to data centre cooling could lower energy costs and deliver maximum ROI for end-users. W hen it comes to maximising energy efficiency in a data centre the most important part to consider, after the IT itself, is the cooling infrastructure. The combination of chillers, pumps and computer room air handlers (CRAHs) required to keep the operating temperatures at necessary levels, typically consume the second largest portion of energy in the data centre after its IT equipment. Consequently, much effort should be devoted to ensuring that the cooling effort is as efficient as possible. 22 | August 2017 It stands to reason, therefore, that careful attention should be paid to the design and operation of a data centre’s cooling infrastructure. Three essential tasks to achieve efficiency are: Selection of an appropriate cooling architecture, adoption of an effective cooling control system and management of airflow in the IT space. All three tasks are considered at the design stage, but to ensure that the intended efficiencies are achieved, the most important task during the data centre’s working life is to ensure that the control system is properly designed and operated. Cooling gets complex Cooling system dynamics are complex. The operating temperature of an IT room as a whole, and in specific locations, fluctuates according to a number of variables including changing loads, outdoor air temperatures, cooling settings and IT room dew point. Ensuring that the temperatures at various locations throughout the installation are properly monitored and that the requisite controls are in place to take appropriate action, are essential to maintaining an optimal trade off between cooling effectiveness and energy efficiency.