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Air mixing one of the primary problems in data centres

Better behaviour towards energy efficiency can be driven through regulations, says expert

| | Jul 9, 2017 | 9:33 am
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Data centres constitute the backbone of smart cities, and managing energy efficiency in these critical environments is crucial. However, experts suggest that the management comes with a lot of complexities.

Suggesting what may pump up the energy metre, Sanjay Kumar Sainani, Regional Head for Data Center Solutions Business at Huawei Technologies, said: “Air mixing is one of the primary problems in data centres, and traditional cooling machines in data centres are designed not to set the return temperature but only cool the hot air entering it. It does not cool mixed temperature air.”

Explaining the dynamics of air mixing, Sainani said: “You have cold air being consumed from the front of the rack, and hot air being exhausted from the back of the rack, but when there is no proper segregation done to prevent air mixing, a mixed temperature air develops and leads to creation of hot spots.

“As in most cases, data centre operators do not understand the physics of cooling, and accelerate the problem even further by lowering the temperatures of the chilling systems, leading to freezing temperatures, and this results in some racks getting very cold, while some remain hot. Therefore, it is critical to prevent air mixing from occurring, in order to reduce the load on chillers and improve energy efficiency.”

Suggesting a solution for improving energy efficiency, Ajay Rathi, Head of Information Technology at Meraas Holding, added: “The problem is that energy efficiency is not built in traditional data centres. Thus, the answer is modular data centres.” They are highly energy efficient and even cost effective, he said, adding that modular solutions constitute an emerging trend and present themselves as alternatives to brick and mortar data centres.

Elaborating on the energy efficiency boosters, Sainani added: “Better behaviour towards energy efficiency can be driven through regulation, such as a carbon tax. We can take an example from a country like Singapore, which has come up with an energy star rating and a Green Mark Award for data centre efficiency.”

Rathi added that standards, such as power usage effectiveness (PUE), would encourage data centre operators and managers to drive towards energy efficiency.

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