Cold- and Hot Aisle Containment


Cold- and hot aisle containment

To increase the energy efficiency of a data center racks should be arranged in cold and warm aisles. These corridors should be compartmentalized against each other. This helps for cold air which is needed for cooling of the data center to not mix with returning warm air and to not lose a part of its cooling strength. Corridor compartmentalization is also an interesting opportunity for existing data centers aiming to increase the energy efficiency or cooling capacity.

There are different technical solutions for compartmentalization. Prerequisite to all is that racks are positioned in parallel rows which are separated through partition walls. Either only the front or the backs of the two adjacent rack rows face each other in a corridor. The fronts of the racks retract cold air, therefore they are situated in the cold corridor. The backs emit warm waste air which then is transported from the warm corridor for re- cooling. These rows can be separated from each other in different ways. By using glass tops as lids over the corridor or building partition walls over the rack rows up to the ceiling. The partition walls can consist of glass, metal, other material plates or foil, paramount is the effective thermal isolation. The lateral access to the rack rows is locked with automatic doors which among other things can also be equipped with access control system or an automatic opening function.

If a corridor is compartmentalized with lids, for example only the cold corridor, the other corridors don’t have to be covered. If only the cold corridor is separated, the remaining data center is filled with warm air.

This has the advantage that higher heat loads can be released. If the hot corridor is separated, the overall room climate is cooler. This way also other equipment outside the rack rows will be cooled, too. Moreover, the climate is considerably more pleasant for the operation staff.

To avoid the mixing of cold and warm air within racks, cold and hot corridors should be separated consequently. Unused slots should always be locked with dummy plates to prevent the cold air from reaching the warm corridor. These plates can be made of metal or synthetic materials. Certain types are also mountable without tools. If desired, we can form blind plates with your logo. Gaps between the 19” frame and the outer rack wall the partition walls should be closed by deflector plates. If using firm metal plates the space can be utilized to instal vertically light equipment like patch panel or monitoring systems.

It has to be taken into account that the extinguishing systems must be adapted to the room concept. With solid compartmentalization, extinguishing nozzles must be installed in every corridor. With a flexible building style with foil material extinguishing gas enters by means of gas pressure through the corridoring. Therfore this version is particularly suitable when refitting a data center.

For datacenters, whose climatization is not wholly power based, but use energy efficient cold production methods a corridoring system is particularly interesting, no matter whether it I a new or already existing data center. On the one hand, it manifests itself considerably at the operating costs as consistent separation of air allows for the the standard temperature in the data center to be raised. On the other hand, the free cooling can for example be also used at higher outside temperatures.

We would like to advise you whether a compartmentalization system is suitable for your data center and which options would be the right one. We already have brought many data centers to higher efficiency. Don’t hesitate to ask us, we’ll take care of IT.


print article      share article