If you browse through websites on data center information, the topics consisting of “cooling and efficiency of data center” will take away the cake. You should know that these two go hand in hand. They have to work as a team like Captain Kirk and Spock did time and again in the U.S.S Enterprise.
The cooling needs of the data center are of utmost important and under no circumstances can they be ignored. Data centers need a constant uninterrupted power supply and since they draw power continuously, they heat up. Temperature rise is major cause of concern for data centers. If ignored, they can even result in explosions of fatal magnitude, resulting in loss of both data and man count.
While cooling is something that cannot be ignored, you also cannot ignore the energy which the cooling system draws. When operating a data center, you will be paying the bills and if the power consumption takes away 85% of your business capital, you will end up having a crater size hole in your pocket.
This is why you do some research and gain some insights into how you can increase the energy efficiency and without circumventing the need to cool servers. While changing the entire cooling system is a herculean task and should not be attempted unless it’s the last resort, you can always update the chiller unit of the cooling system by implementing some strategies.
What is a chiller?
It’s the system which provides cold water to the cooling coils inside the air conditioning system of the data center.
The air conditioner then takes the air from the room and takes it through these coils making it cool and then circulates that air through the room.
Once the cold water from the chiller does its job, it gets warmer. Hence it is circulated back to the chiller where it becomes cold again.
Why optimise the chiller?
An optimised chiller plant design will provide good load performance. To find the optimum performance rate, consider the age old trial and error method by analysing the situation.
This will help you understand how the cooling system works under different operating conditions thereby saving you significant amounts of money. If the optimisation is done effectively, your data center can save up to 40% of power. That is a lot of power. Not to mention the amount of money you will save.
How to optimize?
- To start off, reduce the load of the chiller plant. Don’t worry; it works at 100% even at part load. But what is thought provoking is the fact that you can’t control the temperature and the weather of the region. what you would see is that the chiller system’s cooling fan not being able to keep up with the temp fluctuation
- This is when you should consider a plant that can operate at a lower load with a control system that can determine the ideal limits of the cooling tower.
- At maximum load, the condensing temp is pre-set. But if the temperature gets too low, the capacity of the chiller is affected. To counteract that, a control strategy like a temperature reset will reduce and balance the condensing water temperature as per requirement thereby increasing efficiency.
- Selecting the right equipment is always a good idea. Think about it, if a new and an old system are compared which one do you think is going to worker more efficiently?
- Implementing a centrifugal chiller will provide you with an overall effectiveness in terms of cost, energy usage and dependability.
- Variable speed cooling towers and high performance rotary valves provide necessary support without being heavy on the pockets.
Keep these in mind:
- You should keep in mind that chiller optimisation is a process something like finishing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s about understanding applying the best suited pieces to complete the set and increase your energy saving rate.
- Do your homework. Find out if you can work around with the system you have. If not, then only go to reliable sources or providers who will give you realistic advice. This is important because a lot of contractors will ask you to consider some systems which might be expensive than your data center bill.
- Get your chiller system thoroughly analysed. This will give you the necessary Intel about what is lacking and what needs work. Install necessary control strategy systems. Most importantly keep it organised. This will be your knight in shining armour during any kind of crisis.
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