With data center cooling equipment accounting for 40 percent of the electricity consumed by facilities, it’s understandable that high expectations are being set for innovations that will increase their efficiency.
According to a recent study, the data center cooling market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.1 percent from 2016 to 2020. Innovations in this area have contributed to a less accelerated rate of growth in energy consumption.
Here are some of the innovative areas that have been contributing to energy-efficient operations:
1. Use of fresh air. Some data centers have shifted to cooling systems that incorporate the use of fresh air — key innovation that contributes to energy efficiency.
2. Flexible floor planning. Inefficiencies can be caused by re-circulation, which can be caused by improper rack hygiene and an insufficient supply of cool air for the face of the rack. Unlike previous configurations, in which server racks had to be arranged in uniform rows, newer containment strategies allow data centers to position enclosures in configurations that best work for the spaces.
3. Liquid immersion cooling. With this option, data center designers immerse IT equipment in cooling fluid, bypassing the need for cooling fans. According to some estimates, companies can reduce their overhead costs for cooling by up to 95 percent, according to Green Revolution Cooling.
4. Evaporative cooling. Direct and indirect evaporative cooling are increasingly being used in the data center industry. With this technology, evaporative coolers don't use environmentally hazardous refrigerants. They also are considered environmentally friendly because of reduced usage of electricity.
This technology, which has been widely used in the residential market, relies on a large fan to draw warm air through water-moistened pads. When the water on the pads evaporates, the air becomes chilled. Because of the need for warm outdoor air, this system is more ideal for locations with dry climates.