Data center cooling systems typically use four different methods of cooling. There are several types of data center cooling systems. Which one is the best for efficiency?
In this blog, we would like to explain several cooling systems for data centers.
The need for data center cooling systems
With the recent news about climate change and the effects of global warming, it’s becoming more and more crucial to build sustainable data centers. The cooling system is one of the most critical elements in a data center. It acts as a safety mechanism that protects all systems from overheating.
And while many organizations are trying their best to reduce their carbon footprint, some data centers use up to 50 percent of their total energy consumption on cooling. A recent study revealed that over $1 billion is lost yearly due to inadequate data center cooling systems.
This is just one of many factors contributing to data center power consumption doubling every three years. They can only be countered by: increasing efficiency. Adequate cooling provides many benefits, including improved performance, uptime, and efficiency.
The rise in temperature causes an increased demand for cooling systems driven by electricity consumption. The increase in carbon emissions from the consumption of electricity results in global climate change. It will increase the demand for cooling systems in the future. Climate change is caused by human activity, mainly by burning fossil fuels to produce energy.
The Most Efficient Data Center Cooling Systems
Data centers have adopted many different cooling systems, but the most common method is the free cooling system. This method uses outside air to cool down the servers and does not use mechanical systems or chillers. However, the main problem with this method is that it relies on external weather conditions and can be very unreliable. The air conditioning stops working if the temperature drops below a certain point. It may cause the servers to be without proper ventilation, leading to server failure and downtime.
Many data centers employ two cooling systems:
- one to cool down the air as much as possible
- and another to remove its heat.
The first system can remove up to 80% of the heat produced by the equipment, but it still leaves about 20%.
Direct-to-chip cooling system
Direct-to-chip cooling systems are becoming increasingly popular as technology advances. These systems let heat dissipate directly to the outside atmosphere without all the energy waste caused by traditional cooling towers. Conventional cooling systems require a large volume of air to be pumped through the data center, which is then cooled in a water-based cooling tower before reusing.
This DTC cooling system results in significant energy loss, which adds to enormous costs for companies operating their data centers. Direct-to-chip cooling systems reduce energy loss from 25% to 95%. They also reduce operating costs while increasing server uptime, eliminating the need for regular maintenance on cooling towers.
Liquid immersion cooling system
Liquid immersion cooling systems are both technologically and financially efficient. It uses a relatively insignificant amount of energy compared to the benefits gained; The cost savings can be up to 95%! This is because liquid immersion cooling systems do not need any or very little outside ventilation, which reduces the amount of electricity used for cooling by up to 80%.
Liquid immersion cooling systems also use different liquid coolants, depending on what is most effective for the job. They use fluorinated liquids, de-ionized water, mineral oils, and more. These liquids have a high thermal conductivity and a low viscosity, so they can quickly draw heat away from servers.
Liquid immersion cooling systems are much more effective than air-cooled systems because they directly transfer heat without any heat loss due to convection or conduction with the surrounding air. Although water has traditionally been used as a coolant, other liquids have also been used, such as oils. Oil is chosen over water because it has more thermal capacity per pound and maintains its temperature better when hotter than water can handle.
Read also: How machine learning can improve data center performance.
Free cooling system
Free cooling systems have been adopted in data centers worldwide to take advantage of the cool ambient air available to them when the weather is warm. A free cooling system can save data centers up to 30% in energy costs and simultaneously reduce their carbon footprints.
This is because a free cooling system requires no extra energy output. It uses what’s needed to chill or dehumidify the cold water before returning it to the outside air. This helps data centers run more efficiently while reducing their electricity use during peak hours.
By contrast, traditional air-conditioning systems rely on chillers, which use refrigerants like Freon or ammonia and are expensive and environmentally unfriendly. These chillers can consume up to 40% of a data center’s total energy usage.
Free cooling uses a heat exchanger between chilled water tanks and the ambient air outside. This heat exchanger transfers heat from the water into the air surrounding it through several cycles of evaporation and condensation. This means that cold water can be stored without needing extra energy input. —the process continues naturally, without any additional effort on behalf of the data center staff.
Data centers have become more commonplace with the rise of internet businesses and mobile technology. The need for a reliable data center cooling system is growing, and the cost of a data center cooling system is rapidly increasing.
Cooling systems are crucial in data centers because it is imperative to keep the servers at a temperature that will ensure their stability. When building a data center, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important is the cooling system.
If you don’t have efficient cooling in your data center, you could lose much money—or worse. We’ve outlined some things you need to know about cooling system efficiency in ESG investing. Cooling systems can be a complex topic, but they’re worth learning about as they can impact how much money you make.
A good data center cooling system reduces the overall costs associated with maintaining your servers and increases productivity by ensuring that your equipment runs as efficiently as possible.
I hope that this explanation of how data center cooling systems can be helpful for data center operators wherever you are, especially for data center investors who are confused about making decisions. Take advantage of the excellent momentum for investing in green data centers in Jakarta.