Modular cooling solutions for unpredictable environments

With the advent of blade and other high-density server configurations, heat densities continue to climb to challenging levels. In many instances, the amount of heat generated per rack exceeds what traditional data centre cooling solutions can handle effectively.

Global provider of systems for network-critical physical infrastructure (NCPI), American Power Conversion (APC), has announced a range of new InfraStruXure compatible modular cooling solutions to support the delivery of precise and predictable cooling to high density loads. APC’s solutions include the InfraStruXure InRow RC, InfraStruXure Cooling Distribution Unit (CDU) and the Rack Air Containment System (RACS).

“Today's IT managers face a completely new set of cooling and thermal problems in the data centre,” says Carl Kleynhans, country general manager: Africa at APC. “In a traditional data centre environment higher temperatures are addressed by suppl ying an over-abundance of cooling to the room, which is extremely wasteful and ultimately cost prohibitive. In addition to heat density issues, IT equipment loads are becoming more dynamic, exacerbating the challenge of maintaining an acceptable thermal “rate of change” in accordance with ASHRAE Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments. Simply put, cooling IT equipment too quickly can be just as dangerous as allowing it to run too hot. To effectively address these new realities, cooling solutions must not only minimise the mixing of hot and cold aisle airstreams and deliver dynamic cooling and airflow performance, but also properly match the fluctuating IT equipment heat loads and airflow.”

APC’s cooling solutions serve the needs of a variety of IT environments, from wiring closets and computer rooms to data centres of all sizes. The company’s scalable solutions, which include air distribution units, portables and precision cooling systems, serve specific cooling needs for diverse environments.

APC’s InfraStruXure InRow RC is a modular cooling solution that is installed next to the IT equipment rack in applications ranging from small computer rooms to large data centres. Deployed to both sides of a rack enclosure, the unit can predictably deliver up to 60kW of cooling per rack of IT equipment or up to 30kW per rack with full redundancy. The operation of the InRow RC maximises performance by capturing the heat at the source. This reduces the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) by enabling rightsizing and improved operational efficiency. This chilled water unit is half the width of a standard IT rack (300mm) and offers hot swappable, variable speed fans to improve availability and save energy. The InRow RC also offers network manageability through integration with APC’s InfraStruXure Manager.

The InfraStruXure CDU is a flexible chilled water distribution system designed for the InfraStruXure InRow RC unit. The system increases availability and reliability through flexible and joint-less piping that greatly reduces the risk of water leakage especially in overhead installations. The InfraStruXure CDU is easy to deploy and can simplify future planning through the use of flexible cooling lines that allow users to grow and change their infrastructure as their needs change.

APC’s Rack Air Containment System, a modular enclosure designed with the blade server in mind, facilitates predictable cooling to moderate-, high- and ultra-high-density heat loads. The RACS works in conjunction with the APC NetShelter SX rack and the APC InRow RC cooling unit to provide maximum cooling predictability, capacity, and efficiency. By attaching the RACS to the rear of one or multiple NetShelter SX racks and the InRow RC cooling unit, air exhausted from IT equipment is forced to pass through the cooling unit where it is conditioned. This ensures that warm exhaust air does not find its way back to the air intakes of installed IT equipment. The flexibility of the RACS solution allows N+1 and 2N configurations for maximum availability. In addition, the solution’s front containment capability provides additional isolation and noise dampening.

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