Containment strategies manage cold air supply streams and hot exhausted air streams in the data center. These strategies, which isolate the air streams, eliminate the waste of legacy chaos cooling.
Selecting the Best Containment Solution
Data center aisle containment strategies provide a proven means of saving energy and optimizing data center equipment. There are three types of data center containment options: hot aisle, cold aisle, and rack-based chimney containment .
Hot Aisle Containment: This method isolates the hot aisle with end of row doors and a ceiling structure that encloses the top of the entire row. Hot aisle containment can be integrated with existing server racks in the row or it can be achieved with the use of an free standing Independent Containment System (ICS), which allows racks to be easily added or removed from a row.
Cold Aisle Containment: This method isolates the cold aisle with end of row doors and an aisle ceiling that covers the entire cold row. Cold aisle containment can also be integrated with server racks in the row or spaced separately with the use of an ICS.
Cold Aisle Vs Hot Aisle
Cold aisle containment encloses the cold aisle and prevents the mix of cold air and hot exhaust air. It ensures climate control units keep the airflow path as short as possible – improving the efficiency of the computer room air conditioning system and limiting the energy it demands.
By controlling the air temperature, server components at board level are kept within specified temperature and/or humidity ranges. Cold aisle containment can also be used with inline heat exchangers, so that even higher heat loads per enclosure can be dissipated. The units extract the air from the warm passages then blow it, cooled, into the cold aisle.
In contrast, hot aisle containment allows critical cold air to spread into the general data hall, which can negatively dissipate cooling energy, slowing the effective cooling response and taking longer to reduce server temperature. Cold aisle containment enables a faster cooling response to sudden increases in heat load because the air is not spread into the data hall surroundings but closely contained, directly at the server inlet zone.
Rack-based Chimney Containment: This method involves a chimney structure that mounts directly to the top rear of the IT racks. The heat exhausted from rack-mounted equipment is captured and directed through the chimney where it is then ducted directly back to the data center’s CRAC units. If a ceiling plenum is not available, the hot air can simply rise to a high air return or stratification layer.
Air-Flow and Passive Thermal Containment
Since no two data centers are alike, DCIMPro offers a wide variety of solutions to achieve airflow optimization. We improve airflow at all levels — rack, row, floor, and ceiling — by creating effective barriers between cold air supply and hot exhaust. Our airflow optimization solutions result in overall improved infrastructure efficiencies while reducing operating costs. Options range from basic blanking panels and floor grommets to fully integrated containment systems. Our partner relationships coupled with our own internal manufacturing capabilities enables DCIMPro to be uniquely positioned to offer the most comprehensive and diverse airflow optimization offering to our reseller partners and their end-user clients.
Aisle Containment - Curtains, Panels & Doors
Polargy PolarPlex™ Containment Systems
Polargy PolarPlex™ Containment Systems as the most effective airflow management tool for implementing containment strategies in the data center. The PolarPlex™ Containment family includes:
- Drop-Away Panels for horizontal use below sprinkler heads
- Standard Panels for vertical use
- Sliding Aisle End Doors
- Swing Doors
- Soft-wall Curtains
Emerson SmartAisle™ Containment Customized
Emerson Network Power offers this solution on the basis of a profile section construction design that can be manufactured to fit each individual data center.
Features Precisely fitted to cabinets and cabinet positions Suitable for retrofitting non-homogenous data-centers Can be combined with SmartAisle™ standard
Essential components or “building blocks” for data center efficiency that reduce and possibly eliminate bypass airflow in equipment cabinets and enclosures by covering unused rack units (“U”). Proper blanking panel usage has proven to reduce energy consumption while enabling more equipment load to be placed into a given space — two valuable benefits to overall health and sustainability of a data center.
We offer blanking panels in a variety of sizes and materials to address wide-ranging customer requirements and include:
- Molded plastic “snap in” panels
- Painted metal
- Flexible full-length plastic sheets
- Panels with brush seals that allow for cable pass-through
- Sizes range from 1U to 42U
Floor Grommets and Brush Seal
Floor Grommets and Brush Seals address bypass air flow or “leakage” from cable and piping cut-outs in raised floor environments. Leakage in a raised floor can significantly reduce subfloor pressure and ultimately reduce the amount of cool air available through a perforated floor tile.
Data center staff sometimes compound cooling inefficiency through costly and sometimes unnecessary actions like adding cooling capacity to try and address the issue. “Plugging holes” and “Filling gaps” are better alternatives. Floor Grommets and Brush Seals products come in a variety of shapes and sizes to cover a wide range of data center applications. Materials used in these products are fire-rated to meet most data center material specifications.
Under Floor Baffle Systems
Designed specifically for use under a raised-floor, direct cold supply air to areas where it is needed and, of equal importance, prevent cold air from entering areas where it is not needed.
The Plenaform under-floor baffle is simple to install, is removable and reusable, and fits all raised floor pedestal types. Simple snap-in plastic rivets enable panels to be fitted together so it is adjustable in height and width. The panels are scored both horizontally and vertically so it can be custom-sized. Cable, piping, and conduit pass-through is accomplished by cutting out small scored areas in the Plenaform material. Plenaform is made from non-conductive Formex flame retardant polypropylene.
For custom applications such as air-flow velocity diffusing, DCIMPro can fabricate custom metal diffuser barriers for use in the subfloor around CRAC units or other high-velocity areas.
CRAC Duct Hoods
A CRAC Hood (or CRAC Duct) is used to couple the return air intake of the data center CRAC or CRAH unit directly into an overhead ceiling plenum. In data centers with high ceilings and no plenum, a CRAC duct can be used to raise the intake of the CRAC or CRAH unit to the upper areas of room, closer to the ceiling.
DCIMPro’s E-Forcer CRAC Hood used in combination with a ceiling plenum easily and efficiently channels hot exhaust air from the hot aisle into the CRAC/CRAH units. This process allows for higher return air temperatures to properly load the CRAC/ CRAH evaporator coils — yielding more capacity and efficiency.
Additionally, with air being drawn from one common plenum, customers benefit from increased redundancy and a more balance thermal load. E-Forcer is made-to-order/spec and can be designed to fit almost any size and model AC unit.
An Ideal solution for low density cabinets where containment is the goal. The passive system is a very basic and low cost chimney with no powered components that rely on the airflow generated by mounted equipment to expel the heat to the return air plenum. Because the passive chimney system uses the same framework as the active system, the upgrade path is pain free.
As cabinet density outgrows the capability for the passive chimney system, our fan powered upgrade can be installed in just a few minutes by staff. No need for a new electrical circuit and no need for re-trimming ceiling grid, just a change out of slide-in components