Data center cooling systems have long been burdened by high levels of redundancy requirements, resulting in inefficient system designs to satisfy a risk-adverse operating environment. As attitudes, technologies, and sustainability awareness change within the industry, data centers are beginning to realize higher levels of energy efficiency without sacrificing operational security. By exploiting the increased temperature and humidity tolerances of the information technology equipment (ITE), data center mechanical systems can leverage ambient conditions to operate in economization mode for increased times during the year. Economization provides one of the largest methodologies for data centers to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. As outside air temperatures and conditions become more favorable for cooling the data center, mechanical cooling through vapor-compression cycles is reduced or entirely eliminated. One favorable method for utilizing low outside air temperatures without sacrificing indoor air quality is through deploying rotary heat wheels to transfer heat between the data center return air and outside air without introducing outside air into the white space. A metal corrugated wheel is rotated through two opposing airstreams with varying thermal gradients to provide a net cooling effect at significantly reduced electrical energy over traditional mechanical cooling topologies. To further extend the impacts of economization, data centers are also able to significantly raise operating temperatures beyond what is traditionally found in comfort cooling applications. The increase in the dry bulb temperature provided to the inlet of the information technology equipment, as well as an elevated temperature rise across the equipment significantly reduces the energy use within a data center.

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