FOCUS on RACKS AND CABINETS
More than furniture
Bringing the heat exchanger to the rack addresses the issue of high densities
Today’s data center racks are not only there to hold IT equipment. Modern racks perform a variety of functions, from monitoring power, temperature and humidity to cooling return air.
Nearly all major data center infrastructure vendors have come up with solutions that cool air right next to the IT equipment. Some have cabinets that include heat exchangers while others have bolt-on heat exchangers and fan systems that can be used with a variety of racks.
Here we highlight solutions by four vendors that displayed products at the DatacenterDynamics New York conference on 10 March this year.
Two of the solutions shown are cooling systems that attach to the side of a standard rack. The other two are full-size racks with cooling systems installed.
The solutions’ cooling capacities range from 30kW to 45kW. Since not all racks in a data center necessarily need power densities that high, some vendors recommend using one unit to cool two racks.
Other companies that have rack-level cooling solutions include Emerson, APC by Schneider.
RITTAL’S LCP PLUS Rittal’s LCP Plus attaches on to the side of a cabinet and can typically cool about 30kW. It is a closed-loop system, designed to work with cabinets that have solid doors on both front and rear. Hot air is expelled at the back at temperatures around 95F-100F. Fans in the back move the air across an air-to-water heat exchanger.
LCP Plus attaches well to Rittal cabinets but Stikeleather says it works with other manufacturers’ solutions as well.
He warned, however, that customers could encounter misalignment of brackets that connect the cooling system and the cabinet when doing this, a problem overcome by using an alternative bracketing solution.
Naissus’s Paul DeGroot pitches the company’s water-cooled enclosure to an attendee at DatacenterDynamics New York 2011
Rittal’s application engineer Jeremiah Stikeleather said he recommends water supplied to LCP Plus be 59F – the temperature at which the solution cools a 30kW load. While supplying colder water may allow for higher density, it can also bring about condensation issues. One cooling unit can support two 15kW racks.
Nearly all major data center infrastructure vendors have come up with solutions that cool air right next to the IT equipment.
MOTIVAIR’S CHILLED DOOR
Motivair calls its bolt-on cooling solution Chilled Door Rack Cooling System. It is mounted to the rear panel of any standard rack and can handle up to 45kW.
Motivair national sales manager Rich Whitmore says the system has a built-in PLC (programmable logic controller) controller that feeds live data into a front-end control system. “Any dynamic that changes inside your rack, the door is going to know about it,” Whitmore says. The control system is compatible with all major industrial device communication protocols.
Motivair uses the expression ‘heat neutral’ to describe the product, which means the heat exchanger cools return air to the same temperature as that of the air that went in at the front of the servers. The solution’s list price is from US$5,000 to US$10,000 per rack, depending on density and the options required.
HP’S MODULAR SYSTEM HP’s Modular Cooling System is a rack that
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