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15 Quick Fixes to improve data centre efficiency

 

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  1. Install blanking plates to all unused rack U-space to stop hot air re-circulation from the sever exhaust to the server inlet. It also stops hot and cold air mixing which reduces air conditioning efficiency.
  2. Block up all holes in the tiles within the raised floor or fit brush grommets around cable entry and exit points through the floor tiles. This will stop the cool air entering the room and mixing without having performed any cooling function. This will greatly increase air conditioning efficiency.
  3. Block up all holes in the ceiling, walls or any other aperture such as old air conditioning ducts that will allow air to escape or unconditional air to enter the Data Centre.
  4. Turn off the lights or better still have them put on PIR or motion sensors. Where the data centre is large, zone the lighting operation. Only light up areas where people are working and only for the duration that they are in the Data Centre.  Not only will you save electricity but the heat generated by the light fittings will not add to the IT cooling load.
  5. Fit anti-solar film to any outside windows and insulate and board up from the inside. This will reduce the effects of solar gain to the Data Centre air conditioning systems and increase security.
  6. Raise the air conditioning set-point. Your data centre does not have to operate at temperatures below 21ºC. Running at say 18ºC is very expensive and could also trigger a de-humidification/humidification cycle which is pretty much continuous. This would also be extremely expensive to operate.
  7. Look into the possibility of inhibiting the operation of the room humidifiers. Try turning them off and then monitoring the humidity levels over time. With good earth bonds, the danger of static electricity discharges will be greatly reduced.
  8. Lay the Data Centre out in distinct hot and cold aisle format. Do not have a conflict of a hot aisle next to a cold aisle.
  9. Check that the air conditioners are not fighting against each other. Do they all come on together or are they working alone. If they are working alone it is worth looking at the high possibility that they are fighting each other.
  10. Don’t run support equipment at light loads. For example a UPS at 30% load is very inefficient and it would pay you to replace it with a pay-back of less than 18 months.
  11. Turn off servers that are no longer being used.
  12. Dress cables at the rear of racks to ensure the equipment cooling is not impeded.
  13. Where an under-floor cool air supply plenum is used, clear the floor void of any clutter, un-used cables and anything else that is likely to restrict the supply of cool air to the room.
  14. Don’t place ventilated tiles in hot aisles to remove hot spots. It’s meant to be hot in the hot aisle!
  15. Remove glass or solid rack doors where air-flow is being restricted.

 

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