A One Stop Guide to Economizers

An appropriate balance of temperature and humidity control is indispensable for efficient data center operation. So it is essential to conserve the considerable investment in computer and network technology in such conveniences. On the other hand, increasing energy costs confront engineers to find the most lucrative ways to control temperature and humidity within suitable ranges. Economizers represent an effective means of increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs in data centers. The use of economizer systems is one technique that has been adopted to lower energy usage, lessen usage of meticulous air conditioning equipment and decrease operational costs.

The two chief types of economizer systems are:

  • air-side economizers and
  • fluid-based economizers

Air-side systems: These are systems which will use direct, fresh air blown into the data center with hot air take in and released back outdoors, or they may well use an air-to-air heat switch over. By means of the air to-air heat exchanger, cooler outdoor air is used to moderately or fully cool the internal data center air. Airside systems may be improved with any direct or indirect evaporative cooling, broadening their operating range. An air side system gives out a control mechanism to control the use of outside air for cooling in a room or building. It makes the most out of a system of sensors, ducts and dampers to allow admission of the suitable volume of outside air to satisfy cooling demands. The sensors quantify the outside and inside air conditions. In case outside conditions are appropriate for the use of outside air for cooling, the economizer adjusts the dampers to establish the outside air, making it the principal source of air for cooling the space. This diminishes or eradicates the need for the air conditioning system’s compressor or compressors, which results in a noteworthy energy savings for cooling the space. Air-side economizers also consists of exhaust air dampers to avoid the facility from getting over-pressurized while outsized amounts of outside air are brought in.

Water-side systems: A fluid-side economizer system is frequently referred to as water-side works in combination with a heat denunciation loop consisting of a cooling tower, evaporative cooler or dry cooler. A fluid-side economizer system is usually built-in with chilled water or glycol supported cooling system. For economizer operation, the fluid used in the cooling system goes via an additional coil to cool the room air, reducing the need for compressor operation.

The rigorous temperature and humidity requirements of data centers, coupled with the need for cooling 365 days per year and 24 hours in a day classically makes fluid-based economizers the best preferred amongst the data centers surroundings.  Fluid-based economizers also supply effectiveness in a wider section of the temperature/humidity band required by current data center computer systems. Hence they are more appropriate to a data center than dual-enthalpy control air-side economizer systems. Inside the fluid based economizer group, glycol-based systems operate efficiently at the extensive range of outdoor ambient temperatures. As economizers characterize an efficient means of increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs in data centers, there is a need for extensively using them.

The concept of economizer mode is accepted throughout the data center industry, however little has been done to homogenize the expression. This has lead to confusion in understanding the concept.  An important source of perplexity lies in the use of the term economizer to describe an element within a cooling system or a compartment of a cooling system.  An economizer is certainly not an object; it is an approach to an operation.

At the premier level ,a typical cooling system uses air, water, or refrigerant to transfer heat energy from inside to the outdoors of the data center.  The usage of terms air-side economizer and water-side economizer are frequently used to explain cooling systems with an integrated economizer mode. There are different types of economizers used in the data center. Some of them are – Direct outside air, chilled water with water-cooled chillers, chilled water with air-cooled chillers, DX with fluid economizer coil or Indirect outside air with heat wheel.

Today’s computer and communications systems necessitate a more complex and considerate approach to environmental control planning for data centers than ever earlier. In most circumstances, air-side economizer systems do not rally the rigorous temperature and humidity control requests essential for these mission-critical conveniences. Glycol-based fluid economizer systems are the most suitable choice to help reduce data center cooling costs, lessen energy usage and provide efficient, economical heat indulgence in a wide range of outdoor temperature and humidity surroundings.

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