Close Control Cooling: Efficiency in Server Cooling
Close control cooling, sometimes known as ‘precision cooling’, refers to cooling systems that retain tight control over the temperature and humidity whilst constantly running 24/7 and provide cooling for temperature-sensitive equipment, like servers. Conventional air conditioning operates by cooling a defined space and therefore cooling anything within that space. Often, comfort air conditioning systems designed to provide an environment where people will feel ‘comfortable’ are used to cool office servers. Increasingly businesses realise there are many benefits to using close control rather than standard air conditioning to cool specialist equipment like servers. This blog explores the efficiencies for businesses and the advantages of using closed cooling systems to cool servers.
Firstly, close control cooling provides an environment that avoids corrosion and static damage caused by condensation. The temperature required for effectively cooling servers in cabinets is necessarily specific, as excessive humidity can create condensation corrosion and water damage. Too dry an atmosphere can build static electricity, endangering the equipment. Close-control cooling cabinets avoid these problems by retaining the recycled moisture levels in the air used to keep the servers cool and by utilising a cooling point that does not create condensation or water damage. Additionally, the consistency and maintenance of the temperature do not create a dry atmosphere.
Secondly, close control cooling units are designed to run for prolonged periods and are capable of maintaining temperature control for 24/7 usage. Consequently, unlike comfort cooling systems, they are much better suited to protecting mission-critical infrastructure by continually providing precise cooling even as outside temperatures and humidity change. Comfort cooling systems, by contrast, are designed to provide cooling for spaces and can be manually adjusted making the cooling temperature imprecise. Comfort air conditioning was not designed to achieve precision cooling and often struggles to provide the cooling required for good server function.
Thirdly, close control cooling supports higher-density heat loads. In the case of close-control server cooling cabinets, fully stacked servers make precision cooling efficient and consistent. Comfort cooling will not provide server racks with consistent reductions in temperature with the same efficiency. Moreover, comfort cooling cannot meet specific equipment’s cooling requirements. Consequently, they can be a significant drain and cost to the energy supply as large amounts of energy are wasted trying to generate sufficient cooling power. Increased reliability for the servers is supported by the dust protection of an IP54-rated server cabinet and backup cooling systems that engage if there is a problem. Increased security is also a feature of server cabinets with close control cooling as they are portable micro data centres with easily managed access.
Maxi-Cool systems provide 5kW of cooling power while using 1.2kW of power per unit. In doing so, this achieves significant energy efficiency while achieving powerful cooling. Maxi-Cool systems are close control and simply cool the rack and not the whole room. The precise cooling capacity allows for effective server cooling in a precision micro datacentre to work within an air-conditioned environment in which people can work comfortably.