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Data center cooling is one of the major challenges faced by data center managers because high temperatures and excess heat can severely effect its lifespan and performance. As organizations keep adding blade servers to equip their performance, data centers are demanding more electricity and producing high heat. Sometimes the heat exceedes 30kW – 50 kW/server rack. Increased cooling and electricity demands are adding up to cooling costs and hampering productivity of data centers, and organizations are seriously investing in cooling and heat management solutions for efficient heat and equipment management.
Air cooling and liquid cooling are two of the most commonly used methods for heat management in the data centers, but liquid cooling is considered beneficial over air cooling. Water is more efficient than air as a medium of heat removal and can reduce cooling power needs by 70 percent.
Liquid Cooling is Making a Comeback
Liquid cooling solutions were already used to cool mainframe computers producing high heat. However, in the later years, data centers started shifting to air cooling because liquid cooling equipment and installation was higher than traditional air cooling. Today, data center experts are once again turning to liquid cooling for handling high-density server installations. In 2012, super-computing facilities in the Department of Defense and U.S Governments Data Center announced that they will be shifting to liquid cooling systems for managing their data centers.
Liquid Cooling Considerations for Data Centers
When data centers are considering implementing liquid cooling solutions, they should be careful about a variety of factors. Factors to consider are flooring surface, room humidity, temperature, condensation and refrigerant /water piping corrosion. As liquid cooling is gaining momentum, ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) has revamped guidelines for data center liquid cooling equipment, their installation and implementation. ASHRAE suggests that data centers should only use soft, distilled, deionized, reverse-osmosis treated water for cooling. Before installing liquid cooling equipment, data centers should evaluate their current and expected future heat load and access whether their connections possess reliable water and electricity refrigerant supplies.
With data centers gobbling 2 percent of global electricity, improving energy efficiency in data center cooling is becoming more important. With liquid cooling systems becoming the priority cooling solution in the future, there is always a scope for education and economic viability. Lifeline Data Centers — a clear leader in liquid cooling — can guide you through the process of installation of liquid cooling infrastructure in your data center. Contact us to learn more.