Schneider Electric White Paper Describes Best Practice Approach For Hot and Cold Air Containment in Data Centres

17 February 2015

Making the right choice between hot- and cold-air containment solutions requires expert assessment of all the variables and constraints in an existing data centre, says White Paper #153 from Schneider Electric

 Containment solutions for hot or cold air can eliminate hot spots in data centre racks and provide significant energy savings for operators. When deploying a containment solution in an existing data centre, a number of factors must be considered, taking into account the requirements of the facility.

“The best containment solution for an existing facility will depend on the constraints of the facility,” says Victor Avelar, Senior Analyst and Director of the Data Centre Science Centre at Schneider Electric. “Ducted hot-aisle containment is preferred for highest efficiency, but cold-aisle containment tends to be easier and more cost effective if the facility already has raised-floor air distribution.”

White Paper #153, co-authored by Paul Lin, Victor Avelar and John Niemann, takes a step-by-step approach to making the right choice for implementing a containment solution within an existing data centre. The White Paper investigates the constraints, reviews all available containment methods, and discusses the logical steps for deciding between hot or cold-air containment. In providing recommendations for determining the best approach, and emphasizes the importance of ongoing air-management maintenance.

The benefits of a wisely chosen containment solution include: increased availability owing to the prevention of hot spots; increased rack power density because hot-air recirculation is eliminated; increased cooling capacity because of the increase in temperature difference, or delta, between the cold supplied air and the hot returned air across cooling units; plus increased cooling efficiency and potential energy savings thanks to a more effective segregation of hot and cold air streams.