Choosing a Cooling System to Support Business-Critical IT Environments

The Challenge

Many IT managers end up trying to use comfort cooling or domestic solutions to satisfy their environmental control needs, as these systems can mean simplified and economical deployment up front. However, because they are not designed to meet the unique needs of critical IT equipment, reliance on comfort cooling systems can result in an increased risk for premature system failures as well as grossly inflated operating costs. In contrast, precision cooling systems are designed specifically to meet the needs of dense electrical heat loads.

Advantages of Precision vs. Comfort Cooling

Cooling Optimized to Electronic System Requirements

The high sensitivity of electronic components in data center and networking environments means that temperature, humidity, air movement and air cleanliness must be kept consistent and within specific limits to prevent premature equipment failures and costly downtime.

Systems Sized to the Higher Densities of DC

Comfort cooling is designed for 100 to 140 watts per square metre. While the average data centre requires 350 to 700 watts per square metre.

Protection against Airborne Contaminants

Even small amounts of dust or other particles can damage storage media and charged electronic components. Most comfort cooling systems use residential type air filters that are only 10 percent efficient versus Precision cooling system filters that have higher quality internal filter chambers that meet minimum MERV 8 ASHRAE requirements.

Precise Humidity Control

Humidity control in a data center is critical. Above-normal moisture can corrode switching circuitry, causing malfunctions and equipment failures and low humidity can cause static discharges that interfere with normal equipment operation.

Efficient, Continuous Year-Round Cooling

Comfort cooling systems for most buildings are designed to operate an average of eight hours per day, five days per week. Conversely, most data centers require cooling 24 hours per day. Precision cooling systems and their components are specifically engineered to meet this high cooling demand which means longer life spans and better reliability.

Lower Operating Costs

Due to better efficiencies of design, a Precision cooling unit will cost less to run than a comfort system.