(VIDEO) The 4 R’s of Airflow Management

by | Dec 28, 2016 | Blog

With so many variables affecting airflow within a data center, it can be daunting to know where to start and how to get the most out of airflow management improvements. Upsite’s 4 R’s of Airflow Management™ is a holistic methodology for implementing changes to optimize the data center’s cooling infrastructure and realize energy savings, including the Raised Floor, Rack, Row, and Room. We used CFD analysis to model a 4,000 sq. ft. data center and provide engineering simulation to assess the impact of the changes made at each level.

The execution of the steps resulted in:

  • Reduction in the maximum IT inlet temperature of 8.4° F
  • Cooling supply temperature increase of 10° F
  • Cooling unit fan speeds reduced by 35% and one cooling unit turned off
  • Partial PUE (pPUE) reduced from 1.54 to 1.34
  • Over $60,000 in annual savings for a 4,000 Sq. Ft. Data Center
  • 15 month ROI

The Methodology

Raised Floor: Manage the open area of the horizontal plane of the raised floor. Seal cable openings with grommets and brushes, and manage perforated tile placement. Check the perimeter walls below the raised floor for unsealed wall or partition penetrations. Sealing these penetrations often requires fire-rated materials.

Rack: Close all open space of the vertical plane of IT equipment intakes. Install blanking panels and rack grommets, seal under cabinets, and seal between mounting rails and sides of cabinets.

Row: Block open spaces underneath racks, where IT equipment cabinets are missing, and where there are gaps between cabinets. In situations when cabinet densities are high enough or the highest possible efficiency is desired, hot or cold aisle containment is necessary.

Room: Change the cooling infrastructure by raising cooling unit return air temperature set points. Raise set points as high as possible without exceeding the IT equipment intake air temperature maximum. Turn off cooling units or reduce fan speeds for units with variable frequency drives (VFD) or install VFDs. Monitor cooling efficiency and make adjustments as needed.

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