Iron Mountain: Cooling and Containment

Room 48 uses overhead ducts to deliver cold air to cabinets. The method uses less power than a raised floor design, since cold air naturally sinks, while power and air pressure are required to blow air up through perforated tiles in raised floors.

The facility also saves energy by maintaining the data center at 75 degrees, several degrees warmer than the company’s other facilities. Raising the temperature can help save on energy used for air handlers and the chiller plant, and has been used by companies like Google and Microsoft to manage costs. A warmer data center can also lead to increased activity by server fans, which kick on as the temperature rises, nullifying gains from a warmer server room.

That places a premium on managing air flow with precision, and containment offers one of the most effective means of eliminating cooling losses. Shown below is a prototype “room-within-a -room” containment system used in Room 48. The containment system allows the cold air to enter through the center cold aisle, and vents the hot air from the rear through chimneys that lead to an overhead return air plenum (at upper left).

Next: Lighting & Power

One of the cabinet containment systems used in Room 48.

Iron Mountain’s Energy Efficient Bunker (Main)
Inside the Data Center | Cooling & Containment | Lighting & Power