cooling-it-off-with-precision-cooling-system

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Let’s talk about technology first, shall we? Technology has come a long way from being just the one device on the table, or a bunch of devices in a small room. Today the touch of technology is everywhere in the organisation – IT company, laboratory, hospitals, schools – and with the increasing usage of data, it is not possible to keep devices confined to a single room. And with every assembly of devices comes the question of maintaining the temperature of the devices.

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Cooling it off with Precision Cooling Systems

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Let’s talk about technology first, shall we? Technology has come a long way from being just the one device on the table, or a bunch of devices in a small room. Today the touch of technology is everywhere in the organisation – IT company, laboratory, hospitals, schools – and with the increasing usage of data, it is not possible to keep devices confined to a single room. No, today there is complete infrastructure dedicated to it. And with every assembly of devices comes the question of maintaining the temperature of the devices.

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While many companies take the easy way out and install people coolers, the actual solution to this temperature management problem is a precision cooling system. While the standard air conditioning may be appropriate for an office environment, it is not suitable for the data center equipment. Owing to the complex structures catering to the heavy-duty electronics functions required in the industry nowadays, using an air conditioner – a people cooler – may seem like a good idea at first, but it can prove to be a heavy expenditure in the future. The amount of IT hardware used in today’s organisations produces a heavy amount of heat, because of which the equipment can misbehave, in the form of say producing gibberish data or even complete shutdown, causing huge loss of revenue depending on the duration of the interruption. And that’s why we need specialised equipment to control the heating and humidity of the equipment, and this equipment is called a precision air conditioner (PAC) .

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So what is the major difference between general air conditioner and precision air conditioner? Why not just use a fan or an air conditioner to cool the data center equipment? Here’s why:

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When you use an air conditioner within the data center, it cools down the complete data center infrastructure to the set temperature. However, not all equipment needs to be cooled down, some of it needs a certain level of heat to operate well. The cooling from an air conditioner is not uniform, it does tend to create certain hotspots in the building, which practically defeats the purpose. The data center requires a certain level of temperature and humidity which needs to be maintained throughout the day, which can consume a lot of electricity if a people cooling air conditioner is used. Air conditioners are not built to work 24/7 which is the requirement of the data center requirement. Using an air conditioner continuously year long and in all conditions, is not a very energy efficient solution. The equipment operating the data center requires great amount of air flow, more than what an air conditioner is built to provide. Without enough air to provide ventilation to an equipment, the data center infrastructure can develop hot spots and cause temperature fluctuations.

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Then how does the PAC system solve all these issues? A precision air conditioner has the following features: The precision air conditioning unit is designed to not only cool down the temperature of the equipment room, but it is also designed to maintain the temperature of the room to the level suitable to the equipment. This design is meant to avoid sudden temperature fluctuations. The precision air conditioner is designed to match high sensible heat ratios (SHRs) of the device room or data center. A sensible heat ratio is the ratio of the sensible heat/cooling (change in the dry air) to the latent heat/cooling (change in moisture in the air). If an air conditioner were used to maintain heat in the device room/data center, it would require a high SHR considering the high amount of heat that is generated by the equipment, about 0.95 or 0.99, which is too high. A normal air conditioner has an SHR of 0.65 or 0.75. Only a precision air conditioner is designed to manage such a load.

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An air conditioner is meant for people who have a better tolerance for changing conditions of temperature and humidity. But when it comes to machines, there is the need for precise temperature levels and humidity levels to cater to all kinds of changing conditions. And that’s why there is the need of precise air conditioners. As opposed to an air conditioner, which might get damaged if used 24/7 year long, because that’s the requirement of the data center. The temperatures and humidity levels need to be maintain all year long, come rain, come shine. A precise air conditioner is built sturdily for this very purpose. A precise air conditioner operates at 600-1000 CFM/ton, which is much higher than the normal air conditioner which operates at a 300-500 CFM/ton. Such a low CFM can lead to poor air distribution and cause hotspots, eventually leading to damaged equipment.

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Therefore, it is very necessary to understand that while using a normal air conditioner for the equipment might seem like a cost-effective solution, but only in short-term. In the long term, it can only lead to expenditures in the future. Whereas, although the precise conditioner may seem expensive at the outset, it may actually save costs in the future, and elongate the life of the equipment.

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