Data Center Airflow Management Part I: Equipment Exhaust Air Management

Data Center Airflow Management Part I: Equipment Exhaust Air Management

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There are three main factors that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of your data center when it comes to cooling the air:

1. The path of the air

2. The temperature of the air

3. And the quantity of the air

Today, we’re going to take on an important objective when it comes to airflow management:

limitation of mixing and recirculation of equipment exhaust air.

The most effective way to improve efficiency when it comes to removing exhaust air is to remove it at its highest temperature. This isn’t always practical due to equipment design, room design and other factors. Here are a handful of strategies to maintain maximum efficiency:

Maintain ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ air aisles

Arrange IT equipment to exhaust all heat into ‘hot’ aisles and draw conditioned air from ‘cold’ aisles. This uses equipment as a physical barrier between the two airflows.

Depending on room setup, flexible strip curtains can also be use to further separate aisles by blocking open space above IT equipment racks.

Separate airflows with rigid enclosures

Use enclosures to provide better physical separation between hot air that’s exhausted from the rear of equipment and cool air that enters through the front of equipment.

Design with airflow in mind

Not every piece of equipment has a front-to-back air-cooling configuration. Be sure to arrange equipment so that it expels heat away from the air intakes of other equipment.

How will you know you efforts are paying off? Maintain accurate return air temperature monitoring. Higher return air temperature can mean greater savings when it comes to managing airflow in your data center.

In our next post, we’ll talk about a second objective for airflow management: Maximizing return air temperature by providing cir directly to IT equipment loads.

  1. Jose Norum
    Jose Norum04-16-2010

    Great Blog! After reading your posts I can tell you are educated about your writing. Looking forward to future posts. Thanks!

  2. Darren Kearney
    Darren Kearney04-23-2010

    I know Uptime Devices sells mostly hardware products but is there a particular software product you work with that Uptime could recommend on mapping the data from your product? Although the information that I am receiving from general facility audits is important I need real time data but only if I can tie it into a facility wide mapping/planning tool.

  3. Rod Bridges
    Rod Bridges04-23-2010

    Great information. I think this is by far one of the easiest to understand entries on this topic I have found.

  4. Jen Lowness
    Jen Lowness04-29-2010

    Enjoyed reading your blog – most informative thanks

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