Airflow Is Management Key To Controlling Data Center Energy Costs

  May 11, 2009

I'm Brandon Lorenz, senior editor for Building Operating Management magazine.

Keeping energy costs for data centers in check is a constant challenge. In the data center, there are a few basic steps you can take to control airflow, which will reduce energy use. First, make sure to use hot/cold aisle configurations. The idea is to segregate incoming cool air from outgoing hot exhaust air.

There a few other things you can do to manage airflow. First, take the temperature of the data center with a temperature sensor to find the hot spots. Add or move perforated tiles where needed to cool the hotspots. Once you reduce the temperature of the hotspots, adjust the overall supply temperatures on a trial and error basis.

Other things to try: Make sure air isn't leaking around cabling in the floor. Install blank-off plates in cabinets to control airflow better. It often takes years before a data center reaches full capacity. If the data center isn’t fully loaded, adjust fan and chiller output to match the load.


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