When it comes to computer room cooling, let us help you to keep these systems efficient and optimized with the proper amount of cooling of all electrical components included in your computer room environment.

There are many components included in a computer or server room that generate heat. This heat is a natural enemy to most computer systems, and server rooms. It is generally not enough to attempt to cool a computer room with the regular building HVAC system, whether that be a RTU (roof top unit) or other means.

Computer and server rooms require their own dedicated system and design to achieve these objectives. One of the more popular methods is to place the server racks onto a raised floor. Then use computer room air conditioners, commonly called CRAC units, to achieve the required cooling.

CRAC Unit - Computer Room Air Conditioner

A CRAC Unit generally contains heat exchangers inside that are connected to refrigeration units or chill water systems which in turn, remove the heat from the server racks.

Many types also either humidify or dehumidify the air based on specific environments and server specifications. This helps to control static electricity in the air that can be generated during uptime operations.

During operations, the air is run through an inlet that contains filters to remove contaminants, dust and other very small debris. These filters are very energy efficient in their design. As part of the system, EC fans, server rack inlet temperature sensors and raised floor pressure sensors are often employed to help control the rate of airflow through the system. 

A CRAH (Computer Room Air Handler) Unit also uses chilled water to accomplish the necessary cooling needed for many data centers, dedicated server rooms and even larger capacity computer rooms.

Some of the advantages allow for greater air flow, multiple EC Fan options, efficient dehumidification and enhanced filter plenums designed for increased surface area for filtration. Also common to these CRAH unit types are lower pressure drops and improved energy savings.

Some of the manufacturers that are in this cooling space are Stulz, Data Aire and Liebert®.  All offer great options for your operation depending on your individualized needs.

B.I.M.S. Inc., understands and is proficient in offering system design, maintenance and installation of most popular CRAC and CRAH units. Our number one priority is to consult with you on just how much cooling capacity is needed combined with system reliability, ease of operation and outstanding support after installation.

Server or Computer Room Configurations

Inlet temperature sensors placed on the intake grills of the server rack are often employed to control the supply temperature from the CRAC or CRAH Unit to better match the actual intake to the unit.

The cooled, air conditioned or chilled water air will travel under the floor through a floor grill setup or holes in the tile work to leave this cavity and travel up and through the server racks.  This cooled air will collect the heat generated from the servers in the rack and rise towards the ceiling. 

The CRAC or CRAH Unit then pulls this heated air in as part of the hot air return back into the inlet of the CRAC Unit to be reconditioned. 

Server rack positioning is critical to optimize operating temperatures for the entire computer room. Racks should be positioned in parallel to each other for best efficiency and to lower energy costs.

Quite commonly, hot and cold aisles in the configuration allow for better overall air flow to separate the hot and cold aisles to better assure that only hot air returns to the inlet of the CRAC Unit. The overall goal is to reduce mixing of the air in the server room as much as possible.

Physical barriers have become the most desired way to reduce the mixing of air as it travels in the room, through the server racks on its way back to the inlet side of the CRAC or CRAH Unit. This is commonly called cold aisle containment.

On the flip side, hot aisle containment is better suited for new builds and allows for a lowered ceiling to hold the hot air in isolation and route it back to the inlet of the CRAC Unit.

Cooling the Water via a Chiller

Which ever system your server or computer room uses for cooling, the chill water side is most likely using a chiller to accomplish this part of the system. Sometimes when employed with a traditional cooling tower, these systems gain the extra efficiency of shutting down the chiller and benefiting from the evaporative effects of the cooling tower itself.

On some systems, a remote condenser or air cooled chiller is employed to bring refrigerant into the CRAC or CRAH Unit. Some systems will use a condenser water loop setup to extract heat from the system.

Repair and Maintenance

At the end of the day... these systems  require maintenance to maintain reasonable efficiency and not overheat a computer room resulting in very expensive down time and repairs or even component replacement.

With preventive maintenance, we like to partner with our clients in order to provide options best for the situation and create custom solutions that fit your needs.

We understand the importance and adverse effects of experiencing operational downtime in the commercial and industrial realm and will thus work on comprehensive, systemic solutions to keep you up and running.

Call us today at (833) 879-2467 if you have any questions about computer room cooling and/or are having issues with your current CRAC unit system.

B.I.M.S., Inc. provides heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, indoor air quality services and more to Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth, Waxahachie, Denton, and to the surrounding areas in Texas.

Stulz is a trademark of STULZ Air Technology Systems, Inc. | Data Aire is a trademark of Data Aire, Inc. | Liebert® is a registered trademark of Vertiv Group Corp.

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