Energy Efficient Cooling

Designing an energy efficient data center involves the careful balancing of multiple, often competing factors. These include, (in no particular order) power density, air management, cable management, data center layout, geography, operating conditions, utility cost, utility availability, corporate green initiatives and operational expertise. None of these factors can be considered in a vacuum as each impacts the others. As designers, Integrated Design Group starts by listening to our clients to understand your preferences, desires and goals. We take that input and apply our deep knowledge of the various systems available on the market. (it is safe to say our team has implemented projects using all of the cooling option that are typically considered in the market today) We evaluate the various options and make recommendations. It is not our culture to impose our preferences on you. As experts, we are in a position to educate and make recommendations but in the end the owner of the data center must live with it day in and day out for the next ten to twenty years.

The first order of business is getting the job done. It does not matter how efficient a system is if it cannot adequately cool the equipment it is intended to cool. We start with an understanding of what will be installed day one and what is anticipated to be installed in the future. Any cooling system that will be considered must be able to cool that equipment. To complete this analysis, we will take into consideration the agreed upon operating conditions and utilize computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis is model effectiveness.

Of the systems that meet the needs, the team will develop total cost of ownership models and energy efficiency models imputing local utility costs and confirming utility availability to establish the system or systems that prove most efficient. Often there is a debate relative to first cost versus total cost that needs to take in to consideration the company’s overall green strategy. Additionally, we must also consider the level of expertise of the operations staff. As most systems failures are due to operator error. A firm with limited off hours staff, that may not be highly technical, may want to avoid the use of a highly complex cooling option.

Ultimately our team will present two or more cooling options indicating the pros and cons of each, energy efficiency of each and total cost of ownership for each. We will also include our recommendation. We will tell you what we would do if it were our facility, however, ultimately the decision belongs to the operator.