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What does it mean to keep a data center at optimum temperatures?

Check out this glossary of terms regarding cooling of data centers because the right temperature could result in significant savings in energy costs.

Cooling is critical to power management and efficiency in data centers. Data center cooling equipment is needed to maintain an ideal temperature 24×7 and to ensure IT equipment does not break down from overheating. Because that can affect the bottomline because if the temperature shoots up beyond a permissible point, servers will stop performing at their peak. This is why cooling plays a crucial role in data centers.

So, what is the ideal temperature at a data center?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that server inlet temperatures be maintained at 18-27 degrees Celsius, and relative humidity at 20-80%.

From airflow to temperature monitoring solutions, here are some of the important terms to understand when it comes to maintaining data center temperatures and cooling.

  1. Bypass Airflow: This refers to the “conditioned” air that may not reach the hardware. This can escape through holes under cabinets, perforated tiles, and so on.

  2. ACAE: This is short for Air Conditioning Airflow Efficiency. It is the amount of heat removed per standard cubic foot of airflow/minute.

  3. Cold Aisle Containment (CAC): This encloses the cold aisle with ceiling panels above the aisle between adjoining racks and allows the cold air from the perforated floor tiles in front of the cabinets to be delivered to server equipment air inlets. This makes the cooling highly efficient.

  4. Temperature Monitoring System: One of the most important requirements at a data center because one must understand that the temperature control strategy is only as good as the measurement equipment. Even small measurement errors can result in significant increases in the energy bill.

  5. Chilled Water System: This is a type of precision cooling system widely used in mid-sized to large IT environments, in which as the name suggests a chilled water system uses water as a cooling medium.

  6. Closed-Coupled Cooling: This is cooling technology that is installed adjacent to server racks. It works to minimize the airflow path from the cooling unit to IT equipment and back.

  7. Evaporative Cooling (EC): This cooling strategy takes advantage of the temperature drop on account of evaporating air.

  8. Free Cooling: In this case, the outside atmosphere is used to directly provide cooling via air-free cooling or water-free cooling.

  9. Glycol Cooled System: A precision cooling system where the air conditioner absorbs heat from the air and removes it from the room in the form of heated liquid water/glycol solution.

  10. Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle: An organized layout in which parallel aisles of equipment enclosures are arranged with separation between cooling air in the “cold” aisle entering the front of the racks and warm exhaust air leaving the back of the racks in the “hot” aisle. The separation of cooling air and exhaust air makes for a more efficient cooling system.

These are just some of the terms related to cooling and temperature monitoring at data centers, which is crucial to maintaining efficiency to ensure that a cooling system does not guzzle a data center’s energy.

Hardy Racks offers a temperature monitoring system, which is a rack-based unit that automates the process of temperature maintenance within the data center. The intelligent device saves both time and effort while ensuring critical infrastructure is maintained at optimal temperatures.

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