Computer room air conditioning CRAC

Maxi-Cool is a standalone CRAC unit – Computer Room Air Conditioning

At Maxi-Cool, we work in the field of computer room air conditioning (CRAC). The Maxi-Cool version of CRAC is an integrated server rack cooling system. Maxi-Cool can be used in a computer room or any demarcated space and is a moveable high-specification server rack cooling solution. But what are CRAC and CRAH? What do they do, why are they important, and how do they work? And what are the options for businesses?

What are CRAC units?

Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units are Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. CRAC units cool and regulate temperature, humidity, and air distribution in a computer room. A CRAC unit is a critical piece of cooling equipment that precisely manages and controls the temperature and humidity of a computer room space within specified design tolerances. CRAC units are mission-critical for server rooms and data centres. A CRAC unit is also known as a “close control air conditioning” system and a PAC (Precision Air Conditioning) system. These systems control temperature, humidity and particle filtration, but most of all, they operate within tight tolerances 24 hours a day and can be remotely monitored.

What is the difference between CRAH and CRAC?

Computer room air handler (CRAH) units are another data centre cooling device. The main difference between CRAH and CRAC units is how they cool their surrounding environments. CRAC units use refrigerants and compressors, while CRAH units use chilled water and control valves. CRAC units are ideal for data centres with 200 kilowatts (kW) or less electrical loads. Meanwhile, CRAH units are suitable for data centres with 200 kW or more electrical loads. CRAH units are also ideal for environments with higher availability requirements.

What do CRAC units do, why are they important, and how do they work? CRAC units help prevent low humidity and water vapour from forming. These units are essential because of the high heat generated by the computer equipment. Low humidity can cause static electricity build-up, damaging electronics, and water vapour build-up, which can cause short circuits and corrode equipment. CRAC units work via a refrigeration cycle where the air moves over a cooling coil filled with refrigerant. The refrigerant in the cooling coil is kept cold by a compressor—excess heat is vented as air, water or a glycol mixture. Older CRAC units can only turn on and off, while newer units enable different airflow variations. By comparison, the latest CRAC systems have better air filtration, better humidity control mechanisms and higher airflow than typical AC systems.

What are the CRAC unit options for business? Data is essential to all companies, and therefore, many issues will determine the choice of data storage. If companies choose to use cloud storage and a data centre for data, then both CRAC and CRAH systems will be part of the provider’s infrastructure. If a business decides on hybrid cloud storage or onsite data storage, it will need to decide on cooling systems for either a server room or a standalone server rack with cooling. Onsite server rooms have a mission-critical function, and cooled server racks support edge computing, mission-critical software and data storage, data processing, and technical simulations.