Heat is probably on your mind if you manage a data center, colocation or hosting company–especially if you support systems or facilities dealing with critical data. And most companies would say their data is critical.
How should you respond to worldwide trends of increased heat & weather temperatures, in addition to more hot days? This is an issue in focus and of concern for data centers. Even in areas where average daily temperatures have historically been lower, most recently, temperatures have seen record highs. This was fairly consistent the Summer of 2017 across the Western U.S. where ‘eight states were recorded to have had many above average maximum temperatures.'(1)
Keeping It Cool: Temperatures Trending Up & Spikes
The last few years have seen global and regional temperatures reach new record highs which is of most concern for data centers. NOAA reports that ‘nine of the 10 warmest January-September global land and ocean temperatures occurred during the 21st century (since 2005), with only one year from the 20th century (1998) among the top 10.'(2) From the same report, according to NOAA, 2017 was on track to be one of the top 3 warmest years on record. Many cities have seen daily heat records broken and year after year breaking their ‘hottest year’ records.
As the New York Times reported in August about the Seattle heatwave, ‘Much of the country is used to occasional 100-degree days. Seattle, which has had just three in the past 123 years, is not. So unaccustomed is Seattle to scorching heat that, in 2015, only one-third of the housing units in its metropolitan area had air-conditioning.'(3) In areas where consumer air conditioning systems are optional, such as in areas along the Pacific Coast and Pacific Northwest, air conditioners may be used less for comfort but they are integral for keeping data systems up and available. The good news: The A/C system is in place. The bad news: That same system was probably not installed to account for large spikes in weather temperatures.
Condenser Coil Cooling:
Auxiliary Cooling Power for Data Centers
The question then becomes, How to deal with high weather temperature anomalies? The issue is the inability of the HVAC systems’ condenser coils to reject the heat fast enough to keep up with a higher demand. If the system was not built (and many are not) to offset higher temperatures, turning the thermostat set point lower isn’t going to help much. Additionally, facilities engineers must manage a possible reconfiguration, or more servers, in the space itself with an insufficient system. Air conditioning systems already in place don’t necessarily have to be scrapped to respond and manage the higher temperatures. Condenser Coil Cooling or A/C pre-cooling with fog is being used for these systems to cool condenser coils faster, returning the liquid to the system with a lower temperature.
Need More Info About Fog Systems For Condenser Coils & A/C Pre-cooling?
phone. 1-800-322-4364 or 1-760-322-1111 | email. info at microcool.com
References and articles used for this blog post:
(1) NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: National Climate Report for July 2017, published online August 2017, retrieved on October 13, 2017 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201707.
(2) NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Climate Report for September 2017, published online October 2017, retrieved on October 31, 2017 from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201709.
Midwest/Northeast U.S.: https://www.wunderground.com/news/heat-wave-record-highs-midwest-northeast-mid-june-2017