Why CO2 data centre cooling is gaining favour

By R744.com team, Apr 29, 2009, 18:08 2 minute reading

In the latest RAC Magazine, Guy Hutchins from Trox Advanced IT Cooling Solutions (AITCS) explains why CO2 is becoming more popular in data centre cooling solutions and why he expects all major organizations having an environmental agenda will in the future opt for this solution.

Currently, outdated all-air cooling systems are often installed in high-tech data centres. This observed trend stems most probably from a rather conservative attitude and suspicion towards new systems that are perceived to be untested and the vast consequences that the failure of such a cooling system could inflict.

However, as such suspicions are gradually wearing off, carbon dioxide is gaining favour as cooling medium for IT applications because of its key properties:
  • As opposed to water cooling, CO2 poses no danger to electrical equipment or cabling as it is electrically benign
  • CO2 has zero-ozone depleting potential combined with low toxicity
  • CO2 has seven times the cooling capacity of water per kilogramme, reducing volume flows with smaller diameter distribution pipework.
CO2 saves space and energy

As CO2 cooling is more efficient than air and water alternatives, the carbon footprint of IT equipment rooms can be reduced by 50 to 70%. Moreover, as equipment densities can be increased valuable space is saved.

In addition, CO2 data centre cooling solution offer substantial energy-saving potential. For example, Trox AITCS maintains that with its CO2OLrac blade server cooling system, which is designed to absorb the heat rejected by blade servers at the rear of the cabinet, energy costs can be reduced by up to £155,000 a year for a 1MW installation.

Other developments in CO2 IT cooling

Two other developments in IT cooling include:
  • Including a thermosyphon: A CO2 version of the thermosyphon principle is now available in a scaleable form to provide high density (HD) cooling to a single cabinet.  
  • Including a free cooling option: The CO2 circuit is pump-less and energy efficient, particularly when combined with a free cooling primary circuit.
Bearing in mind all the above benefits of CO2 refrigerant for high-tech IT applications, Trox AITCS expects all major organisations having an environmental agenda will opt for CO2 IT cooling solutions.


By R744.com team (@r744)

Apr 29, 2009, 18:08

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