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Advantages of Hot Aisle vs Cold Aisle Containment
Both Hot Aisle containment and Cold Aisle containment can improve the predictability and efficiency of data centre cooling systems.
But whilst both methods minimise the mix of hot and cold air, there are some important differences between the two approaches that have a significant impact on working conditions and PUE in the data centre.
As well as improving efficiency, thermal containment allows for greater control of the inlet air temperature to your IT equipment and eliminates hot spots. This all leads to a greater control of your data centre cooling system and helps the data centre manager to predict and manage change far more easily and with greater accuracy.
Both hot aisle and cold aisle containment provide significant energy savings compared to traditional uncontained configurations. However containing the hot aisle rather than the cold can save as much as 43% in the energy costs attached to cooling your data centre, which can relate to a 15% reduction in PUE.
A hot aisle containment system is a more efficient approach as it allows the inlet chilled water supply temperature to be increased, which leads to more hours of free air cooling and significant utility cost savings. Cooling set points can be set higher whilst still maintaining a comfortable temperature of 24 degrees C (standard indoor design temp) in the uncontained area of the data centre for anybody that needs to work in these areas.
With cold aisle containment the number of free air cooling hours is limited by the maximum temperature in the hot aisle (the work environment) and by operating temperature limitations of any non racked IT equipment.
Operating a data centre at elevated temperatures in the work area requires a number of special provisions for non racked equipment. These devices will need custom ducting in order to enable them to pull cold air from the contained aisles. Adding perforated floor tiles in the hot aisle will help cool this equipment but defeats the purpose of containment and has a negative impact on efficiency and PUE.
With the cost of Hot Aisle Containment and Cold Aisle Containment being almost identical, the advantages that a Hot Aisle approach offers in terms of efficiency, PUE and cost of ownership make it a more viable solution for all new data centres and in most legacy data centre or server room environments.
For more information please download the white paper or contact us today to speak to one of our team.
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