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BSRIA study reveals changing technology for data centre cooling

BSRIA has published a new market study which shows that – with the CISCO Cloud Index forecasting – data centre traffic will grow at 23 per cent CAGR, reaching 8.6 zettabytes by 2018.

BSRIA has published a new market study which shows that – with the CISCO Cloud Index forecasting – data centre traffic will grow at 23 per cent CAGR, reaching 8.6 zettabytes by 2018.


The move to off-site data centres is at the heart of this growing trend, however, it is not uncommon for data-critical organisations to retain enterprise data centres on their premises.


Cooling within the data centre is a fundamental function of the smooth and efficient operation, however, the cooling equipment is a major share of the cost within the CAPEX outlay.

A combination of energy efficiency measures and rising energy costs have resulted in companies searching for ways of lowering their PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) and operating costs. It is especially crucial for the colocation data centres. In particular Big Data companies have been criticised for their inefficiency which is seeing their adoption of newer technologies.


Following amendments in the ASHRAE 2011 (still need to identify that relaxed temperature and humidity requirements for the Data Centres, the cooling segment of the data centre market is undergoing some dramatic changes and opened opportunities for a range of technologies).


Traditional close control (CRAC and CRAH) is still fit for purpose in many countries, however, it is gradually losing its share to newer technologies, especially evaporative cooling.


Evaporative cooling capitalises on the feature of water as a natural coolant when warm and dry air is being humidified allowing for significant savings in operating costs. Evaporative cooling can either utilise the pressurised or compressed water mist (evaporative system) or wetted pads media (adiabatic system).


It is also divided into direct (direct external air is allowed into the data hall) and indirect (when external air does not mix with the internal air within the data hall).


Lone Hansen, WMI Manager – IT Cable Group, BSRIA (pictured), said: “One major downside with evaporative systems is that they consume water (which can itself be an issue if supplies are scarce) and the evaporative process can cause scaling of pipework and heat exchangers in high pressure systems. The products are more suitable for new build projects due to the space and height requirements, as they are mostly large units. The use of water also raises the issue of legionella, which needs to be given consideration in the design and operation of a facility.”

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