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Eurovent Middle East spotlights opportunities for energy savings in data centre operations

Industry association’s two-part webinar offers presentations on various cooling technologies, design parameters and applications

| | Apr 20, 2020 | 10:16 am
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Brian Suggitt

“There is a vital supply of communication that works following the provision of IT, and without those, the modern world we have created would not survive,” said Brian Suggitt, President, Eurovent Middle East, as he welcomed participants of the two-part live webinar on data centre cooling the industry association organised on April 14 and 16. “Data centres are akin to power plants supplying electricity,” he said, pointing out that data centres, as such, have to be cooled and maintained at the highest possible levels.

Jamshad Padanchery

Jamshad Padanchery, Sales Engineer, Middle East, Airedale International Air Conditioning, kicked off the first edition of the workshop by discussing the evolution of data centre cooling. “As the data centre industry grows, so, too, does its demand on the planet’s natural resources, including power and water, and as cooling systems and techniques evolve, there is an opportunity for data centre operators in this region to conserve resources and save money,” he said. “The continued digitisation of our everyday lives is increasing the demand for cloud and edge computing.” In his presentation, Padanchery pointed out that the key to optimised HVAC is the harmonisation of the equipment with the environment. “Using a specialised HVAC Building Management System, it is possible to monitor conditions at rack level,” he said. “This allows the return air set-point to be dynamically adjusted to meet the desired rack temperature, therefore optimising the CRACs.”

Enrico Boscaro

Further highlighting the importance of unlocking energy savings in data centres, Enrico Boscaro, Group Marketing Manager – HVAC Industrial, CAREL, highlighted the merits of using DC technology and how retrofitting still represents a strong market driver, as capacity of existing data centres continues to grow. “Switching to high-efficiency components has beneficial returns on the retrofitting investment,” he said. “The role of integrated systems will be fundamental to efficiently manage different technologies. Essentially, flexibility, compatibility and adaptability are key to integrate existing units and new technologies.”

Jesper Therbo-Pedersen

Jesper Therbo-Pedersen, Global Head of HVAC/R Danfoss Drives, Danfoss Drives, speaking on AC drives, said, “The considerable daily cooling load variation in data centres makes it economical and attractive to install AC Drives on more or less all rotating equipment, such as fans, pumps and compressors.” He added that doing so offers savings in terms of energy consumption and equipment maintenance, leading to quicker payback. He further added that the enhanced intelligence in new-generation AC drives enables the drives to act as sensors and sensor hubs to process, store and analyse data, and that condition-based monitoring strengthens the reliability of data centres.

Tom Bosmans

The second edition of the webinar began with a presentation from Tom Bosmans, Application Manager, Baltimore Aircoil International, who discussed opportunities associated with free cooling applications, and the impact that a number of factors, such as geography and the type of cooling technology, have on overall operations. Bosmans said that evaporative cooling provides efficient cooling solution for data centers by improving reliability, low maintenance, easy inspection as well as energy efficiency and sustainability. Such reliability, he explained, is vital for an industry that supports major IT innovation trends.

Frank Taaning Grundholm

Providing a breakdown of a data centre’s cost structure, Frank Taaning Grundholm, VP, Global HVACR Sales – Motion Business ABB, pointed out that mechanical and power systems account for most an average of 20% and 35%, respectively, of the data centre’s capital costs and that it is critical to make them efficient at part loads. Grundholm also pointed out that there are many variable speed technologies for cooling applications to improve data centre efficiency, but that they should be specified carefully to avoid power quality issues and data centre operation instability, as well as excessive capex and opex. “Harmonics and reactive power are the aspect to consider,” he said. “Managing both with active front-end drives brings significant capital and operating cost savings and ensures data centre power network reliability and resilience.”

Julio Conde Blanco

Julio Conde Blanco, Project Manager, Energy Department, CEIS, rounded up the sessions by discussing the applicable European Standards for Performance Testing. Currently, Blanco said, there are no standards dedicated to IT cooling technologies. “We rely on other standards,” he said. “My opinion is that we should do something about that.” For the moment, Blanco said, CRAC units are being evaluated according to current European standards, but that newest products have greatly benefited from a number of cooling technologies, which require new testing standards and conditions.


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