How to Make Your Data Center Better & More Energy-Efficient

Data centers represent some of the most significant individual electricity users globally, accounting for roughly 3% of all consumption. Moreover, that number continues to grow year over year. As such, every data center has a responsibility to be as efficient as possible. Much of that efficiency will come down to effective data center HVAC design.

The Latest Energy Standard for Data Centers

The latest energy standard for data centers from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers comes in the form of 2019’s ASHRAE Standard 90.4. The newest updates focus primarily on mechanical load components and electrical loss components. However, the standard also contains guidelines for all HVAC systems.

Previous standards had focused on the performance of existing data centers. The standard now has comprehensive requirements for minimum energy efficiency used during design and construction. There is also a significant focus on implementing renewable resources, both on and off-site.

Requirements are stringent, so every new data center must undergo an intensive design phase. Designing HVAC systems for modern data centers requires the use of computational fluid dynamics to model airflow throughout the facility.

Planning for the Location of Key Equipment

HVAC design for data centers will often focus on servers’ specific placement and arrangement. Computerized air handling control is used to ensure that proper circulation is provided. This approach accounts for the hot aisles and cold aisles created by directional heat discharge.

Every part of the HVAC design centers on server placement. The fact that server rooms typically have raised floors introduces another factor to consider. This type of design can change airflow patterns, which will affect temperature and humidity.

Humidity and overall air quality are some of the most important things to consider for data center HVAC. Systems must be able to efficiently control moisture and prevent contaminants from reaching the sensitive electronic equipment within.

The Impact of Electrical Planning

Many of the design constraints for efficient HVAC systems in data centers will rely on the facility’s electrical infrastructure. Due to the massive electricity use, supply and loading are carefully planned and controlled throughout the facility.

HVAC systems will need to remain efficient, as the excessive load can cause serious issues. As such, data center HVAC systems require regular maintenance and service to maintain peak performance.

A drop in efficiency can lead to higher electrical bills for facilities of any type. However, the increase in electricity usage can cause severe damage and potential outages in data centers.

Maintaining Tight Control

Most facilities require HVAC systems to keep temperature and humidity within a fairly broad range. However, data centers have incredibly tight tolerances.

This specificity means that the HVAC units and control systems used must be efficient and responsive. In addition, they must maintain temperature and humidity in a very small range.

Data center HVAC systems require regular maintenance to do this. The drift and miscalibration that would otherwise cause slight issues can be disastrous in a data center environment. The latest control systems can help to reduce energy usage through more efficient cycling.

Modern HVAC systems installed in data centers are typically among the top of the line, incorporating all of the latest technologies. They’re built for efficiency and control from the beginning of the design phase to the ongoing maintenance that keeps them functioning properly.

Data Center HVAC Services

The Severn Group provides commercial HVAC services for all kinds of facilities in Maryland and the D.C. metropolitan area. Our expert team can offer design services, repairs, and ongoing maintenance for data center HVAC systems. Contact us today to find out more about our services. Also, make sure to check out our blog for more tips.