Data centers are facilities that are used to house large computer systems, telecom instruments and other ancillary systems. These systems are very essential for the IT sectors to keep a control on their business continuity. A data center therefore needs to maintain high standards of security and integrity for all its systems and equipments. New technologies and designs were imbibed to resolve large scale operations in such data centers. A data center acts a single mainframe, housing enormous number of systems and hence draws huge amounts of power. Continuous usage results in overheating of these centers. Temperature and voltage fluctuations due to overheating may result in disruption of functions. The power usage of data centers may range from a few kilowatts to megawatts. Hence cooling of these centers becomes a very important part of maintenance. Cooling architectures and other heat removal methods are extensively used to curb excessive heating. The sole purpose of these methods is to remove the excess heat from the room and transfer it to the outside. Cooling infrastructure: The cooling methods for a data center depend on various factors like-

  • Air Distribution System
  • Heat Removal Type
  • Location of the cooling unit or the refrigeration unit

Air Distribution System:

  1. A. Air conditioning systems: With the help of fans and compressors, they help in removing the heat from the inside to the outside without creating a thermal load. But for the installation of a correct air conditioning system, different factors need to be considered-
  • Thermal load of the equipment and the room
  • Thermal load of the building
  • Cooling requirements of every system
  • Cooling requirements for future needs
  • Size of the data center
  • Effects from other heat sources such as walls, roofs and other safety installations


  1. B. Liquid Cooling: Liquid cooling involves the use of liquid cooled pipes or coils to pass between the servers and racks. The liquid in these pipes acts as a coolant and the movement of air acts as a heat carrier. Heat is finally dissipated into the atmosphere.

Liquid cooling via racks can be done by following the methods given below-

  • Row contained
  • Column oriented
  • Raised floor
  • Liquid in closed rack
  • Liquid in open doors
  • Liquid pipe sections through servers

  Liquid cooling also has certain inherent flaws which need to be revised for an efficient cooling system. The flow of liquids close to the electrical circuits and servers could pose a serious threat. The air distribution systems as a whole could come into danger if the liquid and the heat carrier are not of the right composition.   Heat Removal Type: It is the process of removing heat from the indoors to the outdoors. This movement is accomplished by using heat exchangers to transfer heat from one fluid to another. The different heat exchange systems include-

  • Pumped refrigerant heat exchange systems
  • Chilled water exchange systems
  • Glycol cooled
  • Air cooled self contained
  • Air ducts

  Location of the cooling unit: Cooling units can be installed at different places. Sometimes they are installed away from other heat removal devices. They are otherwise contained into one room and placed adjacent to the data center. The location of the cooling unit

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plays a very important role in the design of the data center and the overall cooling efficiency. Cooling is one parameter that can never be ruled out of a data center’s design. Amongst several other factors that contribute to the efficient maintenance of data centers, cooling is of prime importance.   Data Center Talk updates its resources everyday. Visit us to know of the latest technology and standards from the data center world. Please leave your views and comments on DCT Forum