If you’re a critical facilities manager, trying to balance and control operating costs can be a real challenge. Adequate HVAC is essential for data centers and telecom locations to ensure the longevity of the equipment and optimal performance. But, the continued evolution of critical facilities means that cost strategies must evolve too.
The process used to be simple enough. HVAC required a one-and-done appointment with a local technician who would install several Computer Room Air Conditioning Units (CRAC) in the data center. After a routine mechanical checkup of the new units, the technician would walk out the door, never to be seen or heard from again.
In those days, critical facilities could determine watts per square foot that would be consumed by the IT equipment in place, which allowed them to project the correct amount of “rejected”, or wasted heat. This would also allow operators to discern the correct tonnage CRAC units they would need, and how functional those units would need to be. This was not a perfect process, admittedly, but a pragmatic one that served its purpose.
But, as we know, all good things must come to an end –– and so do mediocre processes. Moore’s Law tells us that computing capacity doubles roughly every 18 months, and we can depend on more powerful equipment to give off more heat. Moore’s Law is now the golden rule of the electricity field, and every segment of the industry has had to adjust accordingly.
Suddenly, critical facility centers have another layer of complexity that dictates how we approach cooling. The formerly appropriate watts per square foot calculations are now too obsolete to be effective. And as we are all painfully aware, new technology and faster computing systems have increased heat waste in critical facilities, forcing engineers to continually analyze how to best cool data rooms.
Instead of settling for cooling the room overall, the new strategy is heat “removal” or rejection. Heat removal focuses on capturing heat close to the source. This means that installation from CRAC units no longer happens wherever there’s wall space, but rather, they are strategically placed within rows between IT equipment. This allows CRAC units to capture as much hot air as possible, which leads to the most efficient –– and cost effective –– operation, when used properly.
What’s Best for Your Data Center?
While many data centers have the capacity for effective heat removal, the placement of CRAC units and the usage of those units can sometimes be inefficient. As an installer, it’s our duty to advise you on the best ways to maintain maximum performance in your critical facilities.
A good place to start is gathering more information. If you permit an installer to perform an operational assessment on your critical space, they could determine that even small changes could make a big impact on your bottom line. Signs of inefficiency and waste –– like if the space isn’t configured for hot-aisle cold-aisle design, or if the CRAC units are counteracting each other –– tell us that it may be time for an update.
HVAC to the Rescue
We know that HVAC is only a small part of the picture when it comes to your immediate concerns as a critical facilities manager. We can make things easier on you by learning more about your business, the technology you use, and how you use your HVAC system, so we can determine if there’s room for improvement. We want you to view us as more than just the heating and air guys, but as a reliable resource who can help you control your operating costs and optimize performance consistently.
If you are a critical facilities manager looking for ways to cut down your monthly operating budget, contact Engineered Cooling Services today. We can perform a full-site audit to find out how we can help you save dollars and sense, so you can do the critical work at your critical location.