How To Cool a Server Rack

How to Cool a Server Rack

As the world’s temperature rises, the urgency of server cooling becomes increasingly apparent. This blog aims to shed light on the various methods of cooling a server rack, a task that falls into two main categories:  passive cooling and active cooling. Both of these categories are not just important but crucial in our current climate. 

Server rack cooling, especially for single server racks and local micro data centres, is of increasing importance. The world is getting hotter, and our IT functions are contributing to this change. In the UK, February 2024 was the hottest on record, according to the BBC, with the average temperature in England being 7.5C and the average in the UK being 6.3C. There has been a significant nonlinear upward trend since 1984, suggesting that climate change is happening around us. What does this mean for those of us in the cooling space? 

Server racks get hot because the servers and other equipment get hot when used. Edge computing and data processing mean the heat generated increases, but the racks are not getting any bigger. Increased heat in a small space creates problems. Racks and cabinets that get too hot risk poor function and server damage. In-house server racks and edge computing are local because they are imperative and critical to businesses. They are precious and need to run optimally. A sub-optimal performance potentially has a significant impact on businesses.

There are many ways to cool a server cabinet, and these methods vary in effectiveness. To lower the heat buildup in a cabinet, you can space out the servers and use the rack without the covers. Cooling a server rack by placing the cabinet near an open window is possible. In server rooms, standing AC units can be positioned facing the server racks. These attempts to reconfigure the entire cooling space, i.e. cabinets and server rooms, to mitigate the increased heat from the servers rather than attempts to provide more cooling. Improved passive cooling is also achievable by retrofitting or replacing cabinets with cabinets with enhanced airflow.

Adding active cooling to cabinets significantly improves cooling for server racks. Active cooling is a cooling solution where the increase in heat load is actively addressed and precisely cooled when necessary. The approach to cooling that achieves the biggest change is actively cooling increased heat loads to maintain stable temperatures and manageable operational temperatures for equipment.

At Maxi-Cool we are experts in developing active cooling systems for server racks and cabinets, and there are a few options depending on your setup. The Maxi-Cool Halo TM5 cooling system is integrated into a cabinet and a plug-and-play replacement for local and single-server cabinets that are starting to overheat. The Maxi-Cool Gemini is a split system cooling system in two parts. The Maxi-Cool Gemini is retrofittable into existing server cabinets, and the heat rejection can be positioned away from the server cabinet. The Maxi-Cool Mercury is our offering in the passive cooling range. It offers passive cooling and is retrofittable with the Gemini system when the heat load in the cabinet increases. 

If you would like to discuss your server cooling requirements please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Visit the website:, send us an email or give us a call 01733873262.  We will look forward to taking to you.