Watch Out for These Common Data Center Cooling Flaws

Companies are desperately trying to maximize the operational efficiency of data centers while minimizing its power requirements by adopting every known power optimizing technique. We know that cooling is a major power consumer in data centers, and you may have attractive technologies deployed for improving your data center cooling. But, have they honestly attained maximum capacities and efficiency gains yet? If not, Why? Let’s us describe why your data center cooling may still be ineffective despite adopting cutting edge cooling techniques.

Below are some common design flaws that counteract the cooling improvements within your facility:

  • Watch Out for These Common Data Center Cooling FlawsUnnecessary/misplaced perforated tiles: Though perforated tiles and grates regulate the airflow in computer rooms, very few data centers have 100% properly placed supply tiles. Supply tiles are necessary only in front of equipment requiring cool air. Too many tiles in the open areas, hot aisles and side of racks are a total waste of conditioned air.
  • Unsealed raised floor openings: A lot of conditioned air escapes through holes and cable openings that are left unsealed, which reduces the cooling efficiency in areas where it is needed. Carefully inspect and seal the openings, particularly under electric equipment like Remote Power Panels (RPP) and Power Distribution Units (PDU) to reduce the phantom leakage.
  • No/poor temperature and relative humidity sensors: Non-calibrated sensors make the cooling units adjust to inaccurate data, making the equipment work against one other. Conduct an audit of temperature and Rh sensors every 6 months and make proper corrections if necessary.
  • Improper/no rack sealing: Sealing is good in all open spaces, vertical space of the IT equipment intake, space between mounting rails and sides and underneath the cabinets. This leads to less intervention of exhaust air and retains conditioned air.
  • Poor rack layouts and empty cabinet spaces: Small areas for racks without a good setup wastes cool air. Surplus cabinet space leads to the recirculation of exhaust air, reducing the effect of conditioned air, inviting over-cooling and an unnecessary supply of conditioned air.

The cooling techniques adopted in data centers can vary greatly depending on the environment the data center is in and the special equipment used. However, these are some common oversights that engineers or data center operators need to think of when planning or designing a data center.

At Lifeline Data Centers, we are always working towards using our space and resources as efficiently as possible. To learn more about our facilities, download our One Sheet now:

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional