Cooling Capacity Factor: Calculate Data Center Cost Savings

Did you know that, on average, data centers operate at a cooling capacity that is four times the total IT heat load? This and other significant data has been highlighted in a white paper on data center cooling published by Upsite Technologies Inc. The research provides relevant information on the use of Airflow Management Techniques (AFM) in data centers that can reduce cooling costs by as much as $32,000 annually.

How do you calculate cooling capacity factor (CCF)?

Cooling Capacity Factor: Calculate Data Center Cost SavingsCCF is calculated using the formula below:

CCF = Total cooling capacity that is running in kW / 1.1 * Total IT critical load in kW.

For example, if there are 10 cooling units, each having a capacity of 3 tons, out of which only 7 are actually running, then the running cooling capacity in kW is 739kW. IT critical load is measured using the total UPS output for the particular room in consideration. Another ten percent is added for factors such as building envelope and lights.

This calculation is done assuming a standard temperature of 75°F (24°C) and relative humidity of 45%.

Typical rooms will have a CCF in the range of 1.5 to 3 with a potential for improvement. Rooms with a CCF of greater than 3 can qualify for significant cost cutting and operational efficiency measures.

How do you improve CCF?

Sealing all unmanaged openings on the horizontal floor space is key. Raising the floor in this manner will result in perforated tiles to function to its optimal level of producing conditioned air.

Sealing racks is the second solution, where all the empty space within IT cabinets is sealed. There should not be too many cabinets facing in a common direction, since this will lead to inefficient Airflow Management.

Sealing rows is the next option, where all empty space under and in between cabinets is blocked. As a result, the hot air from the IT equipment is prevented from moving into the cold aisle. The conditioned air is focused on the face of IT equipment, which leads to greater efficiency.

After the above 3 options have been implemented, further cooling improvement can be done at the room level, such as reducing fan speeds and raising the temperature of chilled waters. As compared to the other solutions, room level changes may incur a cost to implement, but will lead to a greater benefit in the longer run.

Like any improvement plan that is launched, the first step begins with measurement. The CCF is a great tool for analyzing cooling infrastructure and AFM is a great method to help optimize cooling efficiency and reduce overall data center costs.

Want your data stored in an efficient data center that will save you money? Reach out to us at Lifeline Data Centers today.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.