Date: 16th September 2013
The next big step for data centre operators will be to consider removing the chillers altogether to achieve 100 per cent free cooling. However, this does pose a challenge for those facilities that use a direct fresh air approach because it is not only temperature rises that require the use of the mechanical cooling but also other events outside of operators’ control.
In contrast, with an in-direct solution which is optimised for efficient operation in all situations, we can consider removing the chiller. For the warmer hours of the day when temperatures rise above 24 degrees centigrade control systems can start to elevate the supply air temperatures within the data centre up from 22 degrees. With most servers able to operate at much higher temperatures and ASHRAE increasing the allowable limits this strategy could not only further reduce capex but also improve efficiency.