Topic: Data Centers

Choosing the Right Air Distribution Partner for Data Centers

by Jon Creisher |

Choosing the right air distribution partner is essential to the success of data center projects. Power costs are a critical element of data center operations. With the constant need to keep servers cool, energy-efficient air movement must be an integral part of the core strategy to reduce overall power consumption. Choosing an air distribution partner that focuses on innovation, sustainability, and delivering turnkey solutions will help data center owners and builders push innovation toward a green and sustainable business model.

Before expanding on key characteristics when choosing an air distribution partner, you should consider strategies data centers use to help reduce energy costs. These strategies frequently focus on the following areas of concern.

  • Floors – data centers often use two different approaches to flooring--poured slab floors or raised floors utilizing perforated tiles to create directed airflow. These typically create issues that prevent the desired airflow.
  • Racks – air circulation is imperative in maintaining the correct temperature and requires proper spacing and rack configurations using blanking panels to prevent air escape. Failure to achieve that spacing often creates pockets of hot air being recirculated into the cold aisles.
  • Server Rows – facing servers so that the heat exhausts into the cold aisle while cool air enters the front of the servers and over the heat syncs help reduce energy usage.
  • Cooling System - constant monitoring of the server room with data center infrastructure monitoring (DCiM) tools helps maintain an ideal temperature and mitigate energy usage by taking into account the power utilization effectiveness (PUE) of the entire building.

Applying the best strategies will help reduce energy usage while achieving sustainable, green objectives. Well-designed air distribution systems are critical to data center design and meeting PUE targets. Finding the right partner for air distribution solutions can make all the difference in achieving these goals.

What to look for in Companies Offering Air Distribution Solutions

Many companies offer air distribution solutions for data centers however, some solutions are more substantial than others. When looking for a partner that aligns with sustainability and energy efficiency goals, you should focus on three main criteria:

  • Innovation. Consider companies that consistently find ways to improve existing technology or develop new technology. Companies committed to innovation look at everything with the goal of continuous improvement through innovation for efficiency and cost. Greenheck is an excellent example of a company that is committed to innovation. Many of its fan products use electronically commutated (EC) motors and other hybrid motor options that offer high efficiencies. Other examples include refining wheel shapes and applying computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and AI to optimize product efficiency. These innovations ultimately optimize the overall performance of the data center.
  • Sustainability. Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and net-zero buildings are among the leading factors driving innovative design for air movement and control products. Finding sustainable products in the world of air distribution is not always easy. Do the products used in data center air distribution use a portion of materials from recycled content? Are products made using additive manufacturing also using recycled materials? Greenheck is leading the HVAC industry in the development of materials, technology, and standards to address these factors and ensure customer ventilation needs are met.
  • Manufacturing footprint. How does the air distribution manufacturer help with lead time, speed-to-the-market, and the ability to consolidate turnkey solutions without sourcing key components?
    • Lead time in today's world is dependent on so many variables. Material shortages, access to components, and carrier availability contribute to delays and uncertain scheduling. Still, a good air distribution manufacturer anticipates and spots lead time challenges and provides alternatives to lessen the impact and minimize disruption.
    • Speed-to-market ensures a customer like a data center has a promised innovation instead of waiting for it to happen. For example, model OPA (open plenum fan array) was an opportunity to demonstrate expertise in air movement for data centers. After months of learning market needs and refining, Greenheck produced the most efficient fan array available.
    • Delivering a turnkey solution for data centers is unusual in the marketplace. Most manufacturers make a fan or louver, leaving the data center owner to source the remaining products from other manufacturers. However, Greenheck can serve as a single-source manufacturer providing fans, dampers, louvers, and other needed products for this market.

Moving the Industry to a Greener, Sustainable Future

The data center market continues to evolve while attempting to achieve green goals, improved sustainability, and reduced energy usage. Implementing effective air distribution strategies that include energy-efficient and cost-effective air movement, control, and conditioning products will lead the way in achieving those goals. Discover how Greenheck's Strategic Partnership data center team provides the best configure-to-order ventilation systems to move the market to a greener, sustainable future.

Schedule a meeting with our dedicated support team & Sign up for our Data Center Bytes newsletter to learn more about Greenheck data center ventilation solutions.

Data Centers
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Jon Creisher
Jon Creisher
Jon Creisher
Jon Creisher is Greenheck’s Director of Strategic Partnerships focusing on the data center vertical market. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University.
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