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Article Date: 29th November 2017

Fläkt Woods - Looking Ahead

Data Centre Cooling - Data Centres - Air Handling Units

Flakt Woods - Engineer

As we approach the end of the year, Matthew Philo, product manager CRAC, and David Kyle, business development manager, at DencoHappel, part of FläktGroup, look back on 2017 and provide their predictions for data centre cooling in 2018.

With the impact of Brexit still unclear for data centre businesses, many are considering their options in a bid to remain as competitive as possible for the foreseeable future.

This uncertainty is leading an increasing number of data centre managers to examine the lifetime cost of operating their cooling units, rather than just the capital expenditure associated with upgrading their facilities. This period can span more than 20 years, during which they must account for the wastage from the moment they invest in the product, to the day it is removed from the data centre environment. One factor that is playing an increasingly key role, particularly where data centres have upgraded to systems like adiabatic cooling, is water consumption.

Reducing water consumption can have many benefits for data centres. One of the big advantages is a reduction in the amount of space required on site for water storage tanks. DencoHappel’s Adia-DENCO, for example requires only a small tank which takes up a relatively small space on a data centre’s premises.

With any standing water, there is always a risk of legionella – making water treatment vital. But while precautions such as biocides have long been an option for data centre managers, newer technologies are now emerging on the market to help make treatment cheaper and less labour intensive.

One such method is reverse osmosis. Built into many new cooling systems, this technology is highly effective and completely removes the need for purchasing biocides, reducing replacement and maintenance costs in the process. We undoubtedly expect to see this technology continue to grow in popularity throughout 2018.

David Kyle

Not only will big data centres continue to be heavily scrutinised in their environmental-friendliness in 2018, the green credentials of smaller operators are also likely to come under the spotlight. This is partly due to the continued rise of edge data centres. From a growing desire to use streaming services like Netflix, to a fundamental requirement for the quick transfer of real-time data in processes implementing Industry 4.0 principles, the proliferation of smaller scale, localised data centres is likely to continue in 2018.

So as more attention is paid to the energy efficiency of smaller data centres, including those on the periphery of the network, there will be a need to employ smarter technologies that deliver close climate control in a more energy efficient way, such as free-cooling. We also expect to see more data centre managers closely monitoring their premises to ensure their cooling is set to match their needs, and having it checked and configured by experts to ensure it runs in line with existing conditions.

Notwithstanding this, it is also important for owners and operators of edge data centres to gain a better understanding of the cooling systems that meet their specific set of requirements. Not only will they need to increasingly consider the limitations posed by existing commercial spaces, but to stay flexible and move, expand or downscale quickly in line with business requirements.

Of course, over the coming year and beyond DencoHappel will continue to innovate, producing market-leading products which are tested to meet the highest levels of performance and energy efficiency.

Matthew Philo

For more information on DencoHappel and FläktGroup, please use the email option below:

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