Data centres are the physical locations where computers are housed and data is processed. They come in various sizes and have different uses. Unlike most rooms, data centres have a variety of temperature controls to keep the servers from overheating.
The number of data centres has increased over the last few years as more businesses and people rely on network servers. For example, large data centres are typically used by tech companies like Google and Facebook to manage their online operations.
Since they’re operating on a 24/7 basis, their electricity consumption is usually massive. It’s used for data processing and powering servers, which also means a lot of heat is generated. The heat has to be taken away, or the electrical components will overheat and end the system. Worst of all, they could end up catching fire.
The Data Center Chiller
Data centre chillers are cooling systems used in facilities that host large amounts of computer data and equipment. They are used alongside other cooling systems to keep temperatures from reaching excessive levels. Without them, data and equipment would quickly overheat and potentially fail.
Powerful chillers and associated computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units have helped modern data centres get server clusters installed. Specifically those which are highly concentrated, mainly blade servers that come in racks.
Cooling is vital for servers to stay online and, in turn, for services not to experience glitches. In some cases, even a minute of downtime can be rather costly. Computing power has never been more powerful than it is these days, especially since data volume growth is far quicker now. Needless to say, the cooling load has also escalated considerably.
Large data centres consume a lot of energy. Those centres use a lot of energy to maintain the servers themselves, but cooling is the greatest risk to their functioning—up to 40 or 50 per cent of all the power to the data centre. The risk arises because heat is damaging to data, and also because fluctuating temperature creates risks in cooling equipment.
Chillers Are Vital
Cooling servers are the major expense for hosting large data centres, and the cooling loads vary widely depending on server cycles, which makes it difficult for manufacturers to create consistent products. These difficulties have led to oversized products, which lead to inefficiencies and location issues. To cool the servers, data centres need a water source that is already cool.
Cold rivers in colder climates, such as the Pacific Northwest, have led to many major new data centres being sited along their banks. Large chillers and heat exchangers, which are used to cool the equipment and transfer heat outside of the data centre, are located outside of the building in large sheds or on rooftops.
Without chillers, temperatures would rise and the HVAC would fail. Backup generators are just as important to a data centre, so emergency power has to be made available for chillers too.
Data centre chillers play a vital role in keeping systems and services alive. These cooling systems are used to prevent overheating or worse. Any major, industrial HVAC will end up failing entirely when a proper chiller isn’t in place. Data centres are no exception and they’re vital.
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