As data center energy efficiency has reached critical importance, optimizing cooling is an effective way to realize efficiency gains. Implementing an aisle containment system is one way to take action. The design rationale is that preventing the mixing of hot and cold air increases cooling efficiency—and this can be achieved with either hot-aisle containment (HAC) or cold-aisle containment (CAC) systems.
Containment systems have yielded efficiency improvements. As John Niemann, Kevin Brown, and Victor Avelar emphasize in the white paper Impact of hot and cold aisle containment on data center temperature and efficiency, “Prevention of hot and cold air mixing is a key to all efficient data center cooling strategies. Both HACS and CACS offer improved power density and efficiency when compared with traditional cooling approaches.”
A hot-aisle containment system, for example, “can save 43 percent in the annual cooling system energy cost corresponding to 15 percent reduction in the annualized PUE compared to CACS while holding the uncontained data center area to 24°C/75°F.” Cold-aisle containment is recommended, though, for data center retrofit projects where raised floors and perimeter cooling are involved.
Containment flexibility from rack to building
Although highly effective, HACS that utilize ceiling panels are limited to use with row based cooling units. Now, with the new Schneider Electric™ EcoAisle™ system, containment is available for data center environments with row, room, and external cooling systems. This flexibility ensures that efficiency can be optimized from rack to row to room to building.
The EcoAisle system delivers the most flexibility within a standard product, and it deploys within two weeks. In other words, the amount of costly and time-consuming customization is reduced significantly. It adapts to both hot and cold aisles to address the wide range of data center cooling challenges faced by today’s IT and facilities managers.
When used with room (e.g., Uniflair™ air conditioners), row (e.g., InRow™ cooling units), or external cooling systems (e.g., EcoBreeze™ cooling units), EcoAisle maximizes cooling system efficiencies by eliminating mixing and balancing airflow to enable increased operating temperatures and reduce fan energy. EcoAisle is a welcomed solution for improving data center energy efficiency.
The Schneider Electric EcoAisle containment system:
- Can be deployed in both new and existing data center environments available in HACS and CACS
- Adapts to varying rack and aisle dimensions
- Fire safe system to alert personnel and remove ceiling containment based on temperature or smoke detection
- Accommodates easy, low-cost growth through the flexible, modular design
- Adapts to room or external cooling solutions with a centralized hot air return system
- Allows for easy cable management over the top of racks or aisles
- Safe slide doors for more flexibility and breakaway capability for emergenciesIs integrated with high efficiency LED lighting
- Reduces energy use and carbon footprint