Data Center Airflow Management Part I: Equipment Exhaust Air Management
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.