While rack and cabinet densities increase in data centers, so does the need for cooling and heat removal. Cooling IT equipment in data centres is a critical aspect of data centre operations. The heat generated by IT equipment must be effectively removed to ensure that the equipment operates within safe temperature ranges and to prevent equipment failure. According to a study by the Uptime Institute, cooling accounts for 40% of the energy consumed by data centers.
When selecting a cooling system for a data center, there are several things you must consider:
Cooling capacity: The cooling system must be able to handle the heat load generated by the servers and other equipment.
Efficiency: The cooling system should be as energy efficient as possible to minimize operating costs.
Scalability: The cooling system should be able to easily expand as the data center grows.
Redundancy: The cooling system should have redundant components to ensure continuity of operations in the event of failure.
Flexibility: The cooling system should be able to adapt to different conditions and configurations.
Maintenance: The cooling system should be easy to maintain and have a low cost of ownership.
Environmental Impact: The cooling system should have minimal environmental impact and be sustainable.
One of the most common methods used for cooling data centres is air conditioning. Air-conditioning units use a refrigeration cycle to remove heat from the air and transfer it to the outside environment. However, this method can be energy-intensive and costly. According to the US Department of Energy, data centres in the US consume an estimated 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, with cooling accounting for a significant portion of that consumption.
Another cooling method that is gaining popularity in data centres is liquid cooling. Liquid cooling systems use coolants to transfer heat away from IT equipment and into a heat exchanger, where the heat is then dissipated into the outside environment. This method can be more energy-efficient than air conditioning and also allows for higher IT equipment density in a data center. According to the European Union's Joint Research Center, liquid cooling can reduce data centre cooling energy consumption by up to 95% compared to traditional air-conditioning methods.
Overall, cooling IT equipment in data centres is a critical aspect of data centre operations. With the increasing energy consumption of data centers, it is important that data center operators implement energy-efficient cooling methods such as liquid cooling and free cooling to reduce energy consumption and costs.