With this solution, mechanical compression cooling is only required a few days a year and in moderate climates it is not required at all.
Air conditioning systems at data centres gobble up huge amounts of energy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is perfectly possible to combine reliability with energy efficiency when cooling server rooms: Hoval’s answer to the challenge is the ServeCool climate unit.
ServeCool brings together three different cooling methods at once:
The free cooling method relies on external air, which enters indirectly via the heat exchanger so that no dust can get inside the highly sensitive data centres. Once external air cooling is no longer sufficient on its own, the adiabatic cooling method (which is highly resource-efficient) comes into play: this uses moisture to absorb the heat from the air, thereby cooling the air. On average, these two methods are sufficient for 97% of the overall operating time. For the remaining 3% of the time, the mechanical cooling system kicks in. This redundancy concept results in maximum reliability and minimal energy consumption: by contrast, conventional cooling systems that use a combination of free and mechanical cooling rely 50% on mixed mode operation and 25% on mechanical cooling.
At the heart of the ServeCool concept, there are two highly efficient cross-flow plate heat exchangers. These are the pure embodiment of one of Hoval’s core competencies. With their lateral length of 1.20 m, they are some of the largest individual plates manufactured by Hoval. Thanks to their size, they offer above-average energy recovery efficiency.
To enable adiabatic cooling, a pump delivers water from a trough to the spray nozzles. Inside the first of the two plate heat exchangers, the water is sprayed into the external air. The water then evaporates and cools the air down by approximately 6 K until it is close to the dew point. The warm water is caught by the trough and pumped back to the spray nozzles. The second plate heat exchanger – which is arranged above the first – takes care of subsequent evaporation. At the same time, it removes the heat from the exhaust air that it receives.
Together, the ServeCool climate unit and the newly developed ServeNet control system form the complete ServeLine system.
The control system also compares the efficiency of the indirect free, adiabatic and mechanical cooling functions, and controls how they interact, thereby optimising energy consumption. As well as supplying all the information required to evaluate the power usage effectiveness (PUE) in real time, ServeNet can be fully integrated into the data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solution.
ServeLine is suitable for data centres covering anything from a hundred to several thousand square metres of air-conditioned space. The cooling capacity is fully scalable: it can be tailored to requirements simply by stringing together several individual ServeCool modules and can also be extended in stages.
The very low energy consumption of the ServeLine system also keeps the operating costs in
check. In turn, this makes for a relatively low total cost of ownership. The investment soon pays off thanks to the energy saving measures.
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