Industry standards show 30% to 60% of the data center utility bills often go to support cooling systems, including air handlers and chillers. This level of dominating cost makes it obvious why so much attention is directed to energy efficiency. General benefits from airflow, temperature and/or pressure measurements include: Ensure proper airflow thru racks; Detect changes in the system; Optimize cooling system efficiency and fan speeds; Maintain ASHRAE recommended entering temps; Detect bypass and hot-spots due to recirculation.
Reliability in control, redundancy and effectiveness are supreme objectives in mission critical situations. Superior resiliency, performance and agility are desired. All of these properties can be addressed with the use of EBTRON products for measurement, monitoring and control.
The following are component features of many data center designs:
Hot Aisle / Cold Aisle Containment
The goal of a hot aisle/cold aisle configuration is to conserve energy and lower cooling costs by managing air flow. This involves lining up server racks in alternating rows with cold air intakes facing one way and hot air exhausts facing the other. A containment system can be used to isolate hot aisles and cold aisles from each other and prevent hot and cold air from mixing. Today, vendors offer ducts, partitions, plenums and other commercial options that combine containment with variable fan drives (VFDs) to prevent cold air and hot air from mixing, and use differential airflow or pressure control to balance the flow through at optimal rates. This ensures component temperature control and minimizes the fan and cooling energy required. The EBTRON SERVAIRE® located in a data center containment rack can measure the direction, temperature, and quantity of air flow providing facility managers with the information to control the cooling system to maintain aisle containment.
CRAC (Computer room air conditioning)
Airflow measurement used with CRAC equipment can take many forms and configurations, as they might with any air handling application. Most measurement input is used to modulate fan speed and supply/return differentials. Hot aisle airflow is generally returned to a CRAC above the servers. Cooler air can then be delivered under the floor where the servers are located to minimize the fan power needed to distribute the airflow to the front of the server racks. When the data rack does not use an EBTRON SERVAIRE, the EBTRON (EB-Flow) Bi-directional Airflow and Temperature Measurement sensor is the device to provide information to maintain space pressurization used to control temperature at the different areas.
UFAD (Under floor air distribution)
UFAD is one of the major methods of cold air supply delivery in data centers. EBTRON products can provide the temperature and air flow quantities to control underfloor plenum pressure and/or the supply diffuser throw velocity and flow rate, the total supply/return differential for neutral pressurization flow control, hot aisle pressurization / temperature control, or VFD of the supply fan. EBTRON (EB-Flow) Bi-directional Airflow and Temperature Measurement sensor can be used to reset volumetric airflow differentials and preserve proper pressurization flow rates at the underfloor diffusers.