Power & Cooling Systems Analysis


ASPIRE TECH load studies offer piece-of-mind when it comes to data center power equipment selection. ASPIRE TECH expert technicians provide complete load profiling and reporting from simple spot-checking to week-long data logging.

ASPIRE TECH Data Center Power & Cooling Systems Analysis service leverage the first three phases in the progression of the data center project process and data center lifecycle.

Load Bank Testing In creating a secure and efficient computer room design, special consideration must be given to good planning and the implementation of the right technologies. The success of your design is dependent upon strong systems analysis of the IT load that will be supported by the power and cooling infrastructure. ASPIRE TECH Power & Cooling Systems Analysis methodology combines the engineering and technology expertise needed to ensure accurate profiling of the existing load, load requirements for current and potential future IT loads, and direct load bank testing using state-of-the art linear, non-linear, and resistive load banks. This results in accurate Key Design Criteria deliverables to support upgrades, replacements, or tuning of existing power and cooling facility supporting infrastructure.

  • Raised Floor Cooling Analysis
  • The Challenges of Data Center Cooling
  • Help With High Density Cooling
  • Cooling Systems Analysis
  • Data Center Power Protection Systems Analysis
  • Single Point of Failure Analysis
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Solutions
  • Air Conditioning Equipment & Systems

Assessing the electrical power required to support and cool the critical loads within the data center is essential to planning for the development of a facility that will meet the end user's availability expectations. ASPIRE TECH experts can produce a reasonable estimate of the data center power requirements.

This helps specify the size of the Network-Critical Physical Infrastructure components that will achieve the availability determined by the needs assessment. Once the sizing determination is made, conceptual and detailed planning can go forward with the assistance of a ASPIRE TECH consulting engineer. Cost estimation can then be made based on the size and reliability configuration determined from the data center power needs assessment process described on this site.

Power & Cooling Systems Analysis Power & Cooling Systems Analysis leads to a data center site assessment. ASPIRE TECH comprehensive data center assessment services provide a company with a non-biased, independent assessment of the current data center, computer room, and/or mission critical technical space, including sections on findings, critical deficiencies, and recommendations for upgrades and enhancements to mitigate scheduled and/or unscheduled downtime.

  • Written Report of Findings and Recommendations for Improvement
  • Power & Cooling Calculation Worksheet
  • Prioritized List of Recommendations with Cost Impact
  • Detailed Data Center Rating Site Scorecard

Design goals are established across the following categories:

  • Adaptability
  • Availability
  • Maintainability
  • Manageability
  • Cost

Once appropriate design goals are established there are a number of additional steps recommended for data center cooling best practices.

  • Determine the Critical Load and Heat Load. Determining the critical heat load starts with the identification of the equipment to be deployed within the space. However, this is only part of the entire heat load of the environment. Additionally, the lighting, people, and heat conducted from the surrounding spaces will also contribute to the overall heat load. As a very general rule-of-thumb, consider no less than 1-ton (12,000 BTU/Hr / 3,516 watts) per 400 square-feet of IT equipment floor space.
  • Establish Power Requirements on a per RLU Basis. Power density is best defined in terms of rack or cabinet foot print area since all manufacturers produce cabinets of generally the same size. A definite Rack Location Unit (RLU) trend is that average RLU power densities are increasing every year. The reality is that a computer room usually deploys a mix of varying RLU power densities throughout its overall area. The trick is to provide predictable cooling for these varying RLU densities by using the average RLU density as a basis of the design while at the same time providing adequate room cooling for the peak RLU and non-RLU loads.
  • Determine the CFM Requirements for each RLU. Effective cooling is accomplished by providing both the proper temperature and an adequate quantity of air to the load. As temperature goes, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard is to deliver air between the temperatures of 68 °F and 75 °F to the inlet of the IT infrastructure. Although electronics performs better at colder temperatures it is not wise to deliver lower air temperatures due to the threat of reaching the condensate point on equipment surfaces. Regarding air volume, a load component requires 160 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per 1 kW of electrical load. Therefore, a 5,000-watt 1U server cabinet requires 800 CFM.
  • Perform Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Modeling. CFD modeling can be performed for the under floor air area as well as the area above the floor. CFD modeling the airflow in a computer room provides information to make informed decisions about where to place CRAC equipment, IT-equipment, perforated tiles, high density RLUs, etc. Much of the software available today also allows mapping of both under floor and overhead airflow obstructions to more accurately represent the environment.
  • Determine the Room Power Distribution Strategy. The two (2) main decisions in developing a room power distribution strategy are: (1) Where to place the power distribution units (PDUs)?, (2) Whether to run power cables overhead or under the floor?
  • Determine the Cabinet Power Distribution Strategy. In deciding how power will be distributed through the cabinet, use of dual power supplies, and cabling approach, it is important to understand the impact of power distribution on cooling, particularly as it is related to air flow within the cabinet.
  • Determine the Room & Cabinet Data Cabling Distribution Impact. Typically, there are three (3) choices in delivering network connectivity to an RLU. They are: (1) Home run every data port from a network core switch, (2) Provide matching port-density patch panels at both the RLU and the core switch with pre-cabled cross-connections between them, such that server connections can be made with only patch cables at both ends, (3) Provide an edge switch at every rack, row, or pod depending on bandwidth requirements. This approach is referred to as zone switching.
  • Establish a Cooling Zone Strategy. Recall that effective computer room cooling is as much about removing heat as it is about adding cold. Generally speaking, the three (3) equipment cooling methods along with their typical cooling potential can be determined from the following table:
  • It is also critical to consider high-density cooling and zone cooling requirements.
  • Determine the Cooling Methodology. Upon determining what cooling zone will be required, the decision of what types of air conditioners will be needed, must be made. There are four (4) air conditioner types: (1) air cooled, (2) glycol cooled, (3) condenser water cooled, (4) chilled water.
  • In addition, it is also important to determine how heat will be rejected within the system and what type of cooling redundancy is required and available for a particular methodology.
  • Determine the Cooling Delivery Methodology. Different architectural attributes affect cooling performance in different ways. For instance, designs should consider the location of the computer room within the facility (I.e. onside versus inside rooms), height of the raised floor, height of suspended ceiling, etc.
  • Determine the Floor Plan. The ‘hot aisle / cold aisle’ approach is the accepted layout standard for RLUs for good reason. It works. It was developed by, Dr. Robert Sullivan, while working for IBM and it should be adapted for both new and retrofit projects. After determining the hot/cold aisles it is critical to place the CRAC units for peak performance. This may include room, row, or rack based cooling approaches. Each works well depending upon the IT infrastructure, power densities, CFM requirements, and other attributes previously discussed.
  • Establish Cooling Performance Monitoring. It is vital to develop and deploy an environmental monitoring system capable of monitoring each room, row, and cabinet cooling zone. A given is that once effective cooling performance is established for a particular load profile, it will change rapidly. It is important to compile trending data for all environmental parameters for the site such that moves, adds, and changes can be executed quickly.


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