Three easy ways to improve your cooling efficiency

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Avoid hotspots and get more from your A/C units.

In our tours of countless data centres, we often find that basic airflow management best practices aren’t being… practiced!

When you are trying to optimize airflow and keep cooling costs down, the following steps are essential.

1. Close off empty u-spaces in enclosures.

Open u-spaces are an invitation for cool air to flow past your equipment rather than through it.  This starves equipment of cool air, which can lead to shutdowns and shorter equipment lifespans.  Open u-spaces can also drive up your cooling costs. The more open u-spaces in your facility, the harder your CRAC units have to work to compensate for the inefficient use of cool air.

Avoiding these issues is easy.  By installing blanking panels to close off empty u-spaces, more cool air flows through your equipment. This helps avoid shutdowns and lowers your cooling costs.

2. Check your floor tiles.

Perforated tiles are a critical part of your cooling infrastructure and they are often overlooked.  When floor tiles are not installed in the right locations, or if they are installed improperly, cool air is unable to flow where needed. This can result in localized hotspots that can damage your equipment.

You want to make sure that:

  • Perforated tiles are installed in close proximity to the equipment that needs it
  • Perforated tiles are not installed in unused areas within the white space
  • Tiles are fitted snugly without significant gaps that would cause air leakage

3. Get your cabling under control

Equipment and network cabling can be a major cause of airflow blockages in the back of equipment racks.  By getting in the way of hot exhaust air, poorly managed cabling causes localized hotspots that can hamper cooling performance and damage equipment.

When it comes to airflow management, cabling problems are a relatively easy fix.   One solution is to reduce the amount of cable required.  Instead of using 10ft. power whips, you can try 1 or 2 ft. whips.  This will significantly reduce the volume of cabling in the back of your racks, creating more space for hot air to exhaust out of the back of the rack.

Another easy cabling fix is to use cable ties and support arms to tidy up and secure cables in the back of racks.  By bundling cable together and channeling it properly, you eliminate blockages that cause heat to build up.

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