Why is Cold Aisle Containment required in Data Centers?

Cold aisle is basically a layout design for server racks and other such computing equipment in data centers. Cold aisle containment is a technique of increasing cooling efficiency and reducing power consumption in a data center. Its main intention is preventing the mixing together of air temperature zones in a data center.

Working of Cold Aisle Containment

Cold air is fed into contained cold aisle through a false floor. This air flows through front of server racks and removes heat from the installed equipment. Then, it is expelled in the form of hot air through rear of cabinet. This hot air removed by air conditioning system of data center. When the cold aisle is contained, the area which requires cooling is a lot smaller. Therefore, for maintaining a recommended temperature, computer room air conditioner unit requires less power. Cold aisle containment increases cooling efficiency and reduces cost while making sure that businesses don’t have to increase cooling capacity within data centers.

Benefits

Main benefits of cold aisle containment include:

Reduces volume of air that requires cooling.

Prevents hot air short circuits.

Considerably increases the efficiency of cooling system.

Saves energy.

Installation of cold aisle in workplace enhances working environment. The room does not necessarily have to be keep at low temperatures. In fact, even cold aisle can be warmer than that of uncontained data center. Installation of air conditioning is required in an uncontained data center for most of its cooling.

Challenges involved with Cold Aisle Containment

In case of cold aisle containment, the data center serves as the hot aisle, which can possibly be dramatically hot. This could happen in case of higher supply temperatures, which would result in possible extreme exhaust temperatures.

It is possible that a space with suitable temperature profile might not available for equipment that is not compatible with containment arrangement. This could mean that the supply temperature might have to be lowered, thus losing the economic benefits of providing a suitable environment for non-contained electronics.

Conditioned air leaking from openings under equipment and raised floor enters exhaust path returning to cooling units. This results in reduced efficiency of system.

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