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Data Centre Build: Managing Airflow

Posted 09th October, 2013 by Aliysa

At full capacity our 9,300 sq ft data hall will house 3,600 high spec servers that in total require a megawatt of electricity - that's enough to power a whole street of houses.

One of the biggest challenges we face is managing the humidity and temperature within this environment to ensure that our power consumption and impact on the environment is kept to a minimum, whilst ensuring optimal performance from our hardware.

To maintain consistent component temperatures, the internal fans within a server draw cold air in from the front and exhaust to the rear. We therefore have to provide a constant supply of cool air to the front of each rack without unnecessarily cooling the surrounding space. We achieve this by utilising the latest cold aisle containment technology. The cold containment unit sits over the top of the racks creating a 'bank' of cold air for the servers to draw from. Air is delivered from the cooling system to the cold aisle through the 40CM raised floor we have installed throughout the data centre. The floor void is pressurised slightly more than the atmosphere and air then exits through the vented floor tiles installed in the cost aisle.

Inside the cold aisle containment the temperature will be approximately 22 degrees. Once heated by the servers the temperature returned to the cooling units will be relatively warm, approximately ~30c. We will continue to adjust settings and temperatures within the cooling system over time to achieve the maximum possible efficiency.

Categories: Data Centre Build

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