Data Center Cooling Options Begin with Air & Water

Presented by

Don Beaty, ASHRAE

About this talk

Planning a data center project, whether a renovation, expansion or new build requires a holistic approach when considering heat rejection options. In order to realize the often competing goals of sustainability, energy optimization and verifiable TCO, the basic resources must be evaluated for both availability and viability. Beginning with a four step evaluation process, both air and water should be evaluated to understand opportunities and limitations within the boundary conditions of a particular application. The holistic approach begins with Step 1 and identifies basics such as required volumes, temperatures resource availability, physical constraints and a fundamental understanding of the business metrics to be applied. This includes IT refresh rates, environmental excursion philosophy and methods for addressing downtime or load shifting. Step 2 involves climate analysis and will utilize historical data sets for both air and water. Goals include identifying environmental extremes, droughts, utility supply failures and where within a given data set offers the opportunity to meet the needs of a data center build. Step 3 is a qualities analysis which evaluates ambient conditions and service levels to establish the physical limitations of the heat transfer medium. Requirements for filtration, passivation and the effect of seasonal / localized pollution sources should dictate the viability of a medium. Step 4 is validates the preceding analyses by extracting fundamental financial and cost dependent variables using a high level analysis. Costs for implementation, annualized operations and maintenance costs and associated energy costs are processed to create a payback parameter and useful baseline metric for evaluating the TCO.

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