The data center is in constant flux. Load diversity between racks and variable server loads are the norm. Managing airflow into the data center space is key to achieving reliability. New demands to reduce energy consumption in the green data center require a fine balance to ensure proper air flow to each rack during peak IT hardware operation, while not over-cooling partial load and idle states in a diverse environment.
Irvine’s SmartAire® electronically controlled variable air volume damper used in conjunction with DirectAire® adjusts the amount of air to meet the specific needs of the rack or aisle it services. Both the SmartAire® S & M use temperature sensors mounted to the front of the rack to control the VAV damper ensuring the proper inlet air temperature is maintained on a rack-by-rack basis. The SmartAire® P monitors static pressure differential to maintain neutral pressure in a contained cold aisle. The SmartAire® T is activated by the technician to provide cooling when entering a contained hot aisle. Finally, the SmartAire® C & C/T use information collected from other sources such as an existing client sensor network or signal inputs from a SmartAire® P or T to control the damper. This flexibility can help effectively cool facilities implementing virtualization, cloud computing and idle server shutdown strategies while saving energy.
SmartAire® Key Performance Characteristics
Each rack in the data center is constantly changing due to the processing demands of the IT hardware at a given time. This load variability has been driven by IT hardware that has become more efficient over time, increasing the difference between idle power consumption and 100% utilization. This fact, coupled with the increasing use of cloud computing, will only serve to drive increased load variability in the rack on a minute by minute basis, making manual tuning of the airflow at the panel level impossible.
The solution has been to provide sufficient air to accommodate the peak energy demands of the rack, resulting in wasted bypass air and over-cooling during all less than peak conditions. SmartAire® measures the incoming air temperatures at the face of the rack and adjusts the VAV damper to control the air flow and ensure that the temperature at the face of the rack is never above the maximum allowable set point provided by the user. When deployed using best practices, the system is able to virtually eliminate bypass air, and account for any local temperature fluctuations.