Data centers need to provide reliable services and they need to be easily scalable to grow with demand. The HVAC system in any data center has a critical role to play in both. Proper cooling and humidity management are essential to keep servers and other equipment running and undamaged. Plus, in order to easily scale, you need an HVAC system than can expand with you, without needing to re-duct or rewire the whole thing. HVAC technicians with advanced skill can help you plan an HVAC installation for your data center to provide reliable, scalable cooling and humidity control. Here’s how.
Calculating Your Cooling Needs
When equipment gets too hot, it fails. So, data centers need to carefully calculate their cooling needs, add redundancy, and supply that cooling where it is needed. Calculating your cooling needs starts out simple, and then quickly becomes something you need an HVAC expert’s help with. Here’s why.
A basic calculation of your cooling needs starts with an assessment of how much heat all of your equipment will generate. You need to be able to consistently reduce this heat down to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE’s) recommendations for data centers, which are:
- A temperature between 64.4 and 80.6degrees Fahrenheit
- A dew point of 15.8 to 59degrees Fahrenheit
This is not as simple as getting enough cooling equipment with the capacity to offer these temperatures. Depending on the layout of your data center, you may need more equipment or may need to place it differently in order to provide a consistent temperature to each and every server rack. Plus, you’ll want to add some comfortable redundancy, and how much depends on the size of your data center. A professional HVAC technician with experience can walk you through calculating your cooling needs more specifically.
Managing Humidity in a Data Center
It is also critical for your HVAC system to manage your humidity. Too low, and the humidity will cause static, which can harm sensitive electrical equipment. Too high and it can cause condensation and all the damage that goes along with that. ASHRAE recommends a relative humidity of 60% in data centers, and your HVAC professional can recommend the right equipment to achieve that consistently.
HVAC System Options for Data Centers
What kind of air conditioning do you need for your data center? There is specific equipment available for your purposes. Some of the common ventilation and air conditioning options include:
- Computer room air conditioners
- Hot aisle/cold aisle containment
- Cabinet ventilation
Your HVAC technician should be able to direct you to the latest equipment, so long as it has been proven to work reliably, as new innovations are happening in this space all the time. Don’t forget that the scalability of the system is critical. Your HVAC company can also provide you with a plan to scale up your cooling and ventilation as time goes on.
The Importance of Ventilation
Almost all of the equipment in your data center will require dedicated ventilation. Other activities which may take place in a data center, like 3D printing and soldering, also require ventilation. Again, the professionals are your best resource to make sure you’re getting the ventilation that you require.
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Reach out to our commercial HVAC team today and schedule your consultation.