Why proper air flow makes a difference in data centers

Companies want to ensure their data centers are running as efficiently as possible. But there are a number of factors that may prevent them from optimizing their systems. Although having cutting​-edge technology can help keep productivity high, having proper air flow also makes a huge difference in how data centers operate. However, air impurities like dust and dirt may prevent systems from working as effectively as they should. Tech companies might want to consider purchasing air purification systems that will help improve air flow in data centers and increase facilities' cooling abilities.

Managing air flow is an essential part of data center environment control, according to Google. By optimizing the air flow around equipment, companies can prevent overheating and may even lengthen their equipment's lifespan.

Preventing hot spots in data centers
As part of air flow management, companies should try to limit the chance of hot and cold air mixing with each other. They can do this by properly containing areas in the facility that may have components that overheat easily, such as power supply units. When designing the layout of a data center, companies could try to space out equipment to reduce clusters of hot spots in the facility. Experimenting with thermal modeling will further help optimize air flow and even out temperatures, Google said.

Energy consumption also makes a big difference in how data centers operate as high levels could result in power disruptions. Companies should try to choose energy-efficient equipment transformers and power distribution units, according to Google.

"One of the largest losses in data center power distribution is from the uninterruptible power supply (UPS), so it's important to select a high-efficiency model," Google said on its best practices guide for data centers. "Lastly, keep your high voltages as close to the power supply as possible to reduce line losses."

Companies can also save energy by paying attention to how they use vented tiles, which are often used in either the wrong places or are the incorrect size for data centers, according to the Energy Star website. To improve air flow and increase cooling efficiency, companies should be making sure open vented tiles are unobstructed and they are closed if they are not being used.

"These measures made up approximately 20 percent of the company's energy efficiency savings," Energy Star said. "Additional power management efforts included economizers, efficient lighting and work on chiller temperatures."

Cabinet ventilators help cool systems effectively 
Data center design and planning can help save a significant amount of energy. But there is another way to optimize air flow without investing in new software. Companies may want to purchase cabinet ventilators, which will help cool and clean enclosures at the same time to keep systems running efficiently. Cabinet and enclosure ventilators are designed to specifically filter machinery electrical closures or computer wiring storage closets to more effectively prevent dust and dirt build-up.

By Chris Zehner

Indoor air pollution and air quality news brought to you by Air Impurities Removal Systems, Inc.