For corporations, governments, and other organizations that rely on large data center complexes, keeping equipment cool has fast become one of today's data center managers top priorities. Some estimations put cooling at roughly 30% of the entire data centers operating costs, and as far as pure electrical usage, many cooling systems now use 35-45%+ of a data centers energy usage! These are some extraordinary statistics which really highlight why it is important, not only to have a data center cooling plan in the first place, but also to have one which utilizes aisle containment systems.
What Is An Aisle Containment System?
While the traditional hot aisle/cold aisle configuration that uses only cabinet placement worked well for lower-density environments and previous generation heat loads that averaged 2-4kW, it does not completely isolate the aisles and prevent the hot and cold air from mixing. The only way to really prevent the hot and cold air from mixing is to add a physical barrier. That’s where containment systems come in.
Hot VS Cold - Which Style Is Right For Your Data Center?
In HAC, a physical barrier traps and contains the hot exhaust air coming from the back of the cabinets in the hot aisle. This can be achieved with horizontal panels that form a flat roof across the hot aisle or vertical panels that extend the hot aisle to the ceiling. Horizontal panels are typically used in conjunction with in-row cooling systems to maintain the cool environment outside of the contained area. Vertical panels (also referred to as ducted) are used primarily with perimeter CRAC units to direct the hot return air to overhead return plenum.
CAC simply does the opposite. Horizontal panels form a flat roof across the cold aisle to trap cold air in raised-floor environments where the cooling comes up through the floor. Vertical panels extend the cold aisle up to the ceiling for use with overhead ducted cooling systems.
To learn more about the differences and prefered use in application between HAC and CAC systems, click below:
For more information on Belden's aisle containment systems, other Belden data center solutions, or for any other questions, contact your local Accu-Tech representative today!