Energy efficiency: data centres consume a significant amount of energy, so it’s important to use cooling systems that are energy efficient. This can include using free cooling methods when possible, and using cooling systems that are designed to operate at higher temperatures.
Types of Data Centre Cooling Systems
There are several types of cooling systems used in data centres, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Air Conditioning Units (ACUs)
ACUs are one of the most commonly used cooling systems in data centres. They work by removing heat from the air inside the data centre and expelling it outside. ACUs use compressors and refrigerants to cool the air, and can be either air-cooled or water-cooled. Air-cooled ACUs are easier to install and maintain, but are less energy efficient than water-cooled ACUs.
Chilled Water Systems
Chilled water systems use a chilled water loop to cool the data centre. The chilled water is circulated through pipes, and heat is removed from the air by passing it over the pipes. Chilled water systems are more energy efficient than ACUs, but they require a larger upfront investment and more maintenance.
Direct Expansion (DX) Cooling
DX cooling systems work by using refrigerant to directly cool the air inside the data centre. The refrigerant is pumped through a coil, and the air is cooled as it passes over the coil. DX cooling systems are energy efficient and have a lower upfront cost than chilled water systems, but they are not as scalable and can be more difficult to maintain.
Evaporative cooling systems work by using water to cool the air inside the data centre. Water is evaporated into the air, which lowers the temperature. Evaporative cooling systems are energy efficient and have a lower upfront cost than other cooling systems, but are less commonly used in the UK due to the cooler climate.
Free cooling systems use outside air to cool the data centre when the outdoor temperature is lower than the indoor temperature. This is typically done using air-side or water-side economizers. Free cooling systems are highly energy efficient and can significantly reduce energy costs, but they are only effective in certain climates.
How to Choose a Data Centre Cooling System