Increasing energy-efficient performance built into today’s servers has created significant opportunities for expanded Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capabilities. Unfortunately the power densities of these systems now challenge the data center cooling systems and have outpaced the ability of many data centers to support them. One of the persistent problems yet to be overcome in the data center space has been the separate worlds of the ICT and Facilities design and operations. This paper covers the implementation of a demonstration project where the integration of these two management systems can be used to gain significant energy savings while improving the operations staff’s visibility to the full data center; both ICT and facilities. The majority of servers have a host of platform information available to the ICT management network. This demonstration project takes the front panel temperature sensor data from the servers and provides that information over to the facilities management system to control the cooling system in the data center. The majority of data centers still use the cooling system return air temperature as the primary control variable to adjust supply air temperature, significantly limiting energy efficiency. Current best practices use a cold aisle temperature sensor to drive the cooling system. But even in this case the sensor is still only a proxy for what really matters; the inlet temperature to the servers. The paper presents a novel control scheme in which the control of the cooling system is split into two control loops to maximize efficiency. The first control loop is the cooling fluid which is driven by the temperature from the physically lower server to ensure the correct supply air temperature. The second control loop is the airflow in the cooling system. A variable speed drive is controlled by a differential temperature from the lower server to the server at the top of the rack. Controlling to this differential temperature will minimize the amount of air moved (and energy to do so) while ensuring no recirculation from the hot aisle. Controlling both of these facilities parameters by the server’s data will allow optimization of the energy used in the cooling system. Challenges with the integration of the ICT management data with the facilities control system are discussed. It is expected that this will be the most fruitful area in improving data center efficiency over the next several years.

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