Free Cooling: Economizers in Data Centers

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Wouldn't it be great if you could cool your data center for free? Economizer systems are a recognized best practice within data-center environments, with the ultimate goal of providing "free cooling" by leveraging the ambient air temperature outside of the facility. Economizers balance both temperature and humidity, thus reducing energy costs and the use of cooling equipment. Learn about both air-side and water-side economizers, compare and contrast both techniques and get a perspective on the best options based on weather and air quality conditions in different locations.

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Free Cooling: Economizers in Data Centers

  1. 1. Free Cooling: Economizers in Data Centers David R. Pickut, P.E. VP Operations Engineering Equinix, Inc. 03/15/08
  2. 2. Agenda • Define “Free” • Differentiate and explain air-side and water- side economizers • Operating temperature/humidity ranges – Geographic applicability – Potential operating hours per year – Potential operating cost savings • Real-life examples and caveats
  3. 3. Why “Free” Cooling? • Not 100% free – but a very substantial improvement in operating cost – Air-side economizer • In mild and cold climates, use outside air when conditions are right – don’t need to run chillers – Water-side economizer • In cold climates, achieve required heat rejection just by pumping the water thru cooling towers (very close to “free” vs. running chillers) • “Free”  

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