Data center cooling refers to the collective equipment, tools, systems, techniques, and processes that ensure ideal temperatures and humidity levels within a data center or server room. Achieving maximum efficiency in one of these facilities involves regulating parameters such as energy consumption and temperature.
There are several ways to remove heat from the air in these facilities and replace it with cooler air. There is the option of recycling the internal air by cooling it, usually through a hot and cold aisle design to maximize cooling efficiency. You can also utilize a raised floor platform to create a chilled space where a Computer Room Air Handler (CRAH) or Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRAC) can send the heat via chilled water coolers and other technologies which create cold aisles underneath the servers.
Another way is called free cooling. This is done by venting hot air outside and then drawing pre-chilled outside air into the facility to cool it down. The trick is the facility has to be in an area where there is a colder climate.
Air cooling and liquid cooling are two of the most popular types of data center cooling. Since liquid cooling is a relatively newer technology, we’ll focus our discussion on that. The two main types of liquid cooling are liquid immersion cooling and direct-to-chip liquid cooling.
Along with the data center cooling technologies we discussed, there are others on the horizon. One of those is evaporative cooling. There are several different data center cooling technologies in use, but as data center demand continues to increase, facility owners and their customers will have to look at more efficient and cost-effective cooling solutions.