Data Centers and HVAC Setpoints

  October 20, 2009

I'm Brandon Lorenz, senior editor for Building Operating Management magazine. Today's tip: Cooling in the data center.

When it comes to improving the efficiency of data centers, one of the first thing data center managers think of is airflow. And that makes sense because most data centers aren't the most airtight. But there are other opportunities for improvement too. The HVAC system and central plant is another logical place to look.

Consider an existing data center, for example. Periodically check the setpoints of the central plant to make sure they match the load of the data center, because the load often evolves over time. It's not out of the ordinary for the chiller plant to be set for the baseline UPS load and never adjusted, even as the load doubles as more servers are added to the data center.

Secondly, take a look at the way temperature sensors and CRAC units are situated. Move temperature sensors to the supply air outlet to better regulate the temperature of air delivered to the cold aisles. Doing so may allow you to raise the temperature of supply air, improving efficiency.


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