As 200th Installation Announced, Direct-Air Evaporative Cooling Becomes Mainstream
4th May 2014
“Using CRECs (computer room evaporative coolers) instead of the conventional CRAC units (computer room air conditioning units) can save over 90 per cent of the energy needed to cool a data centre,” said EcoCooling managing and technical director Alan Beresford, “we are very pleased to announce Serve The World as the 200th data centre to adopt this solution at its 600kW Oslo facility in Norway.”
Data centre engineers are by nature very cautious and it has taken a number of years for the CREC cooling to be accepted as a safe and reliable alternative to expensive refrigeration-based CRAC cooling. Serve The World now joins a list of highly respected data centre operators able to operate with PUEs (power utilisation effectiveness) of 1.2 or less regardless of the level of occupancy in the data centre.
Other data centres which have grasped the power and cost saving EcoCooling CREC cooling technology include Insurance company Unum, UK telecoms companies BT and TalkTalk, public sector organisations Humberside police and Warwickshire County Council plus colocation specialist Capgemini, as well as Cambridge University and RNLI (the Royal Naval Lifeboat Institute)
Within the 200 installations there are data centres with power consumptions from 10kW to 1MW. For a 1MW installation the EcoCooling CREC solution would require only around 40kW of power compared to as much as 1000kW with conventional CRAC cooling. This saves the cost and infrastructure for 960 kW of power.
Aberdeen University Data Centre – cooled by EcoCooling CRECs has been awarded Data Centre Project of the Year in the BCS & Computing UK IT Industry Awards – covering the UK’s entire IT industry. Aberdeen beat off competition from Tesco, Capital One and the NHS. A number of best practices including the deployment of EcoCooling CRECs has led to a PUE of less than 1.1.
EcoCooling’s direct air cooled data centre projects are spread far and wide beyond the UK with installations also in New Zealand., Germany, Ireland and the latest Norway-based Serve the World.
Explaining how the CREC technology works, Beresford said, “in temperate climates, there are up to 365 days every year when so-called ‘free cooling’ can be employed. On a fair proportion of these days, it is simply enough to pass air from outside through the data centre servers and other active equipment at a suitable rate and no cooling of that external air is needed at all. On the remaining days, it is sufficient to use a very simple technique of water evaporation which takes the heat out of the incoming air and cools it sufficiently to cool an entire data centre.”
“Concerns of data centre engineers about the use of fresh air in data centres have not materialised. With over five years operational experience and research data now available from these 200 installations the EcoCooling CREC design principles and process controls have proven to provide a resilient and efficient cooling system. I think the list of major players that have fully researched the topic and have then implemented EcoCooling technology demonstrates that data centre engineers can now consider this power saving technology as being fully ‘of age’,” Beresford concluded.