The Building as an Air Handler

A data center building design for a UK project demonstrating airflow optimization.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a number of  two-story data centers that separate the computing equipment from the mechanical equipment, and design the entire structure to optimize airflow to take advantage of free cooling – using fresh air instead of air conditioning. Examples of this trend include Microsoft’s Dublin data center, the HP Wynyard facility in the UK, the NetApp data center in Research Triangle, PowerLoft in Virginia, and now the new Facebook data center in Prineville, Oregon.

Today data center researcher James Hamilton from Amazon discusses a new two-story design from a UK project using equipment from EcoCooling, which makes evaporative coolers that can work with fresh air cooling designs.  “I like the design for a couple of reasons: It’s a simple design and efficient design, and it’s a nice example of a few important industry trends,” James writes. Among those trends is the use of a very large plenum, and the ability to recycle waste heat from servers to control the temperature of the incoming fresh air. See James’ roundup at Perspectives for the the full story.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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