Using Airflow Containment to Reclaim Power Capacity

The modern data center is home to all of the new platforms which house corporate IT environments. Now, these data center environments are tasked with hosting more users, more workloads and a lot more data. With the cloud, virtualization and high-density computing – data centers have also been tasked with operating and more optimal states. This means finding ways to better contain airflow and overcome challenges with limited power availability.

In this case study, we learn how Seattle-based TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) saw plans for its new data center run into a wall when the local utility company said the grid didn’t have enough available power to support the expansion.

“We found out we had absorbed every spare ounce of energy the building had available,” said Stephen Walgren, TCS Data Facility Engineer. “For us to grow we would have to go to Seattle City Light and have them put in a new primary feed.”

But in this case, it seemed running into a wall was exactly what TCS needed. How so? Utilizing a “cooling wall” introduced by the design-build firm of McKinstry, TCS’ new data center not only overcame the problem of limited power availability, it made TCS one of the most efficient data centers in the Pacific Northwest. Deployed through an evaporative-only cooling wall and airflow containment provided by Chatsworth Products (CPI) Passive Cooling Solutions, the TCS data center expansion went on to earn two ASHRAE awards—one national and one regional—and an average PUE of 1.15.


[Image source: Chatsworth Products, Inc.]

As the reliance on the data center continues to grow – there will be that continued need around efficiency. Data center operators will need to work with intelligent and powerful technologies capable of reducing the PUE and improving air flow. Download this case study today to learn how TCS, McKinstry and CPI have proven that an efficient data center design can overcome power limitations and drastically reduce energy consumption—in this case by an estimated 513,590 kW per year.

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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  1. Ed Lynch

    Last paragraph states 513,590 kW saved, should be kWH. kWH is a unit of energy consumption. In the world of energy efficiency/PUE, care must be used for the terms power and energy.