HVAC systems for Data Centers require special attentions. Everytime we navigate websites or social media, a significant quantity of user information is uploaded and collected. Data centers’ main function is to gather and manage those huge quantities of data. To do that, these facilities operate 24/7, consuming vast amounts of energy and generating huge quantities of heat. Removing that heat is crucial, because it prevents electrical components from overheating and fail or even catch fire. It is fundamental, then, to ensure the HVAC systems’ reliability, so data centers’ continuity of operations can be guaranteed.
Read here how Daikin managed to meet energy efficiency targets and reliability needs in a project involving a datacenter among the most important in Brazil.
So, when designing HVAC systems for datacenters, reliability is a very important aspect, but HVAC energy-efficiency is an aspect to consider, to contain operating costs.
The energy consumption for a typical data center is usually split as follows:
- IT equipment 50%
- Cooling and HVAC systems 35%
- Electrical Infrastructure & Support 10%
- Lighting 5%
Therefore, HVAC systems can have an important impact on how efficient the whole datacenter ends up being, determining how much energy will be consumed to carry out operations, and the impact of the price for the service offered by the data center.
Now that the main aspects that govern the design of a HVAC system for a Data Center has been defined, the main question is: how can HVAC equipment provide more value for data centers projects?
In 2017, Greenpeace Association published a report showing the energy footprint of large Data Center operators. Among these only a minor percentage of data centers were using clean energy coming from renewable resource, while most of the energy used was generated through combustion.
And the fact that data traffic will increase in the next years due to the growth of the Internet of Things, the multiplication of applications such as smart meters, video surveillance, health monitoring, transport and tracking of parcels or resources, all this will also increase the need of building data centers in the next few years, which, will have a greater impact on the environment if these facilities keep consuming dirty energy in vast amounts.
Therefore, datacenters are more and more required to reduce their energy use and environmental impact.
Read here how Daikin managed to meet the project requirements of a negative CO2 emission data center in Sweden.
it’s important to design and operate the HVAC system to the specific requirements of the data storage devices. There are recommended temperature and humidity ranges (**), which need to be guaranteed through a perfect temperature control. That allow the equipment environment to operate safely and at the best of their efficiency.
(**) ASHRAE® Technical Committee 9.9 published a book titled “Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments” providing guidelines.
Free cooling is a great way to save on operating costs while minimizing the impact on the environment.
Nature can provide free air conditioning in many parts of the world for a most of the year. Free cooling systems allow to bring cold outside air or water inside to cool down indoor spaces, thereby reducing or even eliminating the need for mechanical cooling. Essentially, when outdoor temperatures are favorable, chillers can turn off compressors and take advantage of the low outdoor temperature to chill water.
As far as free cooling, with the recently launched Air-Cooled chiller platform, Daikin offers chiller versions with integrated hydronic free cooling, integrating the free cooling exchangers, plus the piping and valves directly onto the unit, managing to keep the chiller’s footprint very compact despite the capacities that the units can offer.
System control, redundancy, and rapid restart
Controls can, then, help groups of chillers to optimize their performance, harmonizing the way units operate. The Daikin iCM (Intelligent Control Manager), for instance, allows groups of chillers to reach their goal with minimum effort, both mechanically and in terms of energy consumption. The iCM, in fact, ensures chillers’ durability and efficiency generating operating and maintenance cost savings. Being directly integrated in Daikin chillers, it does not require any external sequencer or optimizer integration, and with the Microtech 4 control logic, it ensure improved performance and extremely fast restart of the unit when combined with the Rapid Restart.
The rapid restart option is more and more important in applications where continuity of operations is crucial. For instance, if a Daikin chiller were to face a power loss event, with this option, it could restart compressors rapidly, allowing the chiller to immediately return to the same cooling capacity it was producing prior to the power loss event.
Then, redundancy is very important to ensure continuity of operations. That is as true for chiller units as it is for controls. In fact, everytime a control needs to be disconnected for maintenance, for instance, the redundancy can instantly replace it. That makes the system even more reliable.
Monitoring, maintenance, and reliability
Operation monitoring and maintenance planning are also aspects to consider, to ensure chiller plants durability and reliability. Daikin on Site (DoS) is the tool offered by Daikin for this purpose.
Daikin On Site (DoS) is a remote monitoring tool, that can provide 24/7 real time data, all year round, tracking chiller plants operations and their correct functionality. All this to allow plant owners to take preventive actions and avoid extra costs associated with breakdowns and downtime.
From a plant manager perspective, Daikin on Site can be beneficial in many ways. Every time there is an alarm, plant managers can easily recognize the problem and find the right solution. Through this platform they can evaluate all the parameters in real time and if there is a need for any settings adjustment, they can act remotely. All of this allows to improve units’ performance and management, planning preventive maintenance and increasing systems’ reliability.
Read more here about Daikin on Site
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