Data centres are thirsty for electricity, most of it used for maintaining temperature and humidity within the maximum and minimum levels that the servers need to operate properly. This also means that data centres tend to have a big carbon footprint. However, it need not be so: evaporative cooling provides a very cost effective and energy efficient solution to the problem. And, even though it is a water-based system, there are no health risks when it is designed correctly.
Shrink your energy bills and carbon footprint using 80% less power
Evaporative cooling uses the cooling power of water to reduce the temperature inside the data centre. It only needs very little electricity to operate the fans that circulate the air. Even better, the hotter it is outside, the more efficient it is in dealing with the high levels of heat generated by the servers and the excess humidity. In winter, you just need to recirculate hot extract air into the supply air to maintain the temperature and humidity within desirable levels.
In favourable conditions, a well-designed evaporative cooling system can cut a data centre’s energy use by up to 80%: think of benefits to your bottom line and to the environment!
Cool with water in full safety
Water based systems, when not designed or maintained correctly, have been associated with health risks, and in particular with the transmission of legionella bacteria. This, however, should not be a reason to turn away from such a perfect solution to the problem of cooling data centres: it just means that you need to take some precautions when commissioning such a system, beginning with checking that it has the right certification, and that you need a sound maintenance programme. You can find our recommendations in our earlier article “Is evaporative cooling safe?”. We have also written a White Paper for download on the pros and cons of evaporative cooling systems. Or, you can browse all of our articles on this subject.
Laurence Cockman is a Senior Consultant for Colt UK and specialises in the design and product application of energy efficient HVAC systems.