EDP Europe helps Major Telco Operator improve their airflow management

EDP Europe were recently invited by a major telco operator to visit three of its Data Centre locations to evaluate and consult with them on their airflow management strategy.

Effective airflow management within the Data Centre enables the optimisation of cooling systems, which is the quickest way to make and achieve energy efficiency improvements and achieve cost savings. Many Data Centres are over-cooled, this can often be as a result of the need to tackle for hot spots, poor rack layout, misplaced perforated grilles, unsealed floor openings and not following other best practice guidelines. Correcting these issues enables the cooling systems to be adjusted, and with this adjustment energy savings can be made.

In a previous blog article we discussed the 4 R’s of Airflow Management, a set of guidelines that help Data Centre operators improve their airflow management and optimise their cooling systems. As a result, EDP Europe were asked to audit the three sites for this major telco operator and help them identify and make further improvements to their airflow management.

Overall the sites were correctly laid out in a cold aisle hot aisle layout. Each site was already using KoldLok raised floor grommets to manage cable openings, this had already made improvements to their airflow management. KoldLok grommets are designed to seal a variety of openings within the raised floor. The brush grommets provide an effective seal preventing air leakage, whilst still enabling cables, or pipework to pass through to installed equipment.

On conducting the audit EDP Europe identified that the company had an issue with hot air circulating back to the front of the equipment racks which was affecting the supply of cold air to the IT equipment. To rectify the situation, EDP Europe put forward a number of solutions. Firstly, there were several gaps within the racks where equipment had yet to be installed. These gaps allowed the hot exhaust air from the installed equipment to migrate back to the front of the racks. The solution was to seal these openings with EziBlank 6U Blanking Panels. These panels can be easily adjusted to fit the required space. The next issue identified was that hot exhaust air was also wrapping over the top of the racks, around the ends of each aisle and through gaps where racks were missing within the row. To rectify this EDP Europe suggested using AisleLok® Angled Baffles on top of the equipment racks to prevent the hot air wrapping over the top of the racks. These were easy to install and could be simply removed to gain access to cables coming into the top of the rack. Custom made Perspex infill panels were produced to fill the gaps left by missing racks, whilst thermal curtains were used on the end of the cold aisles to prevent the hot air wrapping round the end cabinets. These still enabled easy access to the cold aisle but drastically reduced the amount of cold air and hot air mixing, resulting in better cooling performance.

Speaking of the audit the company’s Infrastructure Coordinator stated that they saw immediate improvements in their airflow management, which has reduced the amount of cooling they need to provide, and by so doing so has reduced their energy bill.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how EDP Europe can help improve your airflow management please contact our sales department.

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