This article will cover some of the most popular cooling solutions for data centers as well as some new trends. Over the years, server room cooling has undergone significant changes. In the past, it didn’t matter how much power was used to cool a server room. It was just something that needed to be done. Then, someone started to talk about Power Usage Effectiveness and discovered that many Data Centers had PUEs of 2.5 or 3. Crazy times…! Free air cooling is a must.
Let’s take a look at, the most popular data center cooling systems:
1. Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle
It is often called convection mayhem. This cooling method is the most popular and inefficient. It is simple to implement, and it follows the principle that the more you use power, the cooler your server room will be.
You are supposed to face the inlet side of the racks (cold aisles), and the outlet side (hot aisles), so that the cold air doesn’t mix with the hot. This is not true. What you will see in the server rooms and Data Centers is a constant battle between hot and cold air currents. The worst part is that cold water never wins. You end up pumping crazy amounts to get rid of the “hot spot” across heavier-loaded racks.
2. Cold Or Hot Aisle Air Containment
This trend has been evident for at least 5-6 years and is one of the easiest retrofits to the other methods we have discussed. This is achieved by physically isolating hot and cold air mixing, and then driving it from the CRAC Unit.
It works quite well, significantly reduces the problems with hot spots and air mixing. However, there are some downsides to this system. You still have to manage the pressures in your Plenums and all that goes with them. Also, you can’t cool or heat large areas where you don’t need them.
3. In-Rack Heat Extraction
Here is where creativity begins to flourish. There are many similar solutions available. This Data Center, or better yet, rack cooling method aims to extract heat from the rack so it doesn’t get into the server room.
Another option is to have the compressors and chillers in the rack, which heats the Data Center exterior. The upside is that it creates a fresh and clean server room. However, you can’t achieve a high computational density per rack, this means that your setup is difficult to maintain and complex.
4. Servers And Racks With Water Cooling
Water is used widely to cool machinery and industrial systems. But what about water being used directly to cool servers in a Data Center, It’s not a common solution.
It’s simple: Electricity + Water = Disaster.
Leakage is a serious risk in a server room. Disaster is almost certain. There are many solutions available that allow water to flow “securely” to server components. These include water-cooling prepared servers and racks that pump water through “hot” sides to lower the temperature of the air before it enters the server room. These solutions were used in very specific cases.
5. Liquid Immersion Cooling
Liquid Immersion cooling uses a dielectric fluid to collect heat from server components. The dielectric fluid can be used in direct contact with electrical components, such as CPUs and drives. ). The liquid coolant that is run through hot components of servers and takes heat away to heat exchangers is hundreds of times better than massive CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) devices. This data center cooling technique can achieve unprecedented PUEs in comparison with all other methods.