Airflow Management

lower data centre energy demands and save on energy costs

With increased power and heat densities increasing every year, attention must be paid to airflow management at the facility level, row level, rack level and the equipment itself. If one of these area’s are overlooked, it could lead to energy loss, decreased cooling capacity, higher operating costs, lower equipment life span and critical equipment and system failures.


The concept of separating the cool supply air and the hot air exhaust return air. When implemented properly, energy saving are possible, cooling capacity may be increased, densities per rack can increase, longer life span of the equipment and more resilient to mechanical system failures. There are three basic kinds of containment
  • Hot Aisle containment: Encapsulating the rack hot aisle and returning the exhaust to the CRAC/CRAH with no to minimal mixing with the supply air.
  • Cold Aisle containment: Encapsulating the rack cold aisle to ensure the supply air is delivered to the equipment inlets without mixing with the hot air exhaust. Partial containment can be done by simply installing end of row doors with no ceiling. 
  • Rack based chimney. Racks with solid rear doors and chimney collared to a ceiling plenum or duct work to deliver the hot air exhaust to the CRAC/AH without mixing with the supply air.
Each has many variations and advantages over each, but is far superior than the traditional flooded air approach. Containment costs can be recovered quickly through lower mechanical capital costs and lower operating and maintenance costs.Because of the energy savings, containment can contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

Traditional Data Centre

Heat Contained Data Centre

Rack Based Airflow Management

Rack accessories and option to prevent hot air exhaust from going into the supply inlets of the equipment and prevent the supply air from bypassing the equipment and go back to the return on the AC units. Racks with airflow management options will ensure that money spent on containment will work at peak efficiency. 

Equipment Based Airflow Management

Many times missed and critical to the total airflow solution, the airflow of the equipment must be addressed. Much equipment will be designed with front to back airflow, but not always. In addition, alternate airflow designs are possible with side to side or side to back airflow. Airflow baffles are available to ensure that the cool air is delivered to the inlets and prevent the hot air exhaust from entering the equipment supply inlets.

Other Airflow Accessories

Blanking panels to cover unused RU space are the lowest cost accessory to promote proper airflow, save energy and increase cooling capacity. They are available in various varieties including tool-less plastic panels, steel, and brush strip panels to allow for cable penetrations. Sometimes fans are required to move air in areas where the facility mechanical systems struggle to move air. Airflow Tiles and Accessories. Manage airflow at the raised floor with sealed grommets and variable airflow tiles

Measuring Performance Gains

You can examine what performance gains or additional resiliency you can achieve by the various airflow management systems before and/or after deploying the components in the following manner.

Take measurements before the deployment and take measurements after. We have various tools available to achieve this. Ask us how we can tailor a solution for your environment
Use CFD software modeling to create a virtual data centre to visualize the results.

Let us know how we can help.

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