Data Centers

Keep data centers running at peak efficiency

The challenge for data center managers is to maintain or improve the availability in increasingly dense computing environments while reducing costs and getting the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) closer to 1. Even though data centers are strategic business assets that continue to grow in importance, data center managers are always under pressure to optimize operational expenses, reduce energy consumption, and decarbonize without risking downtime. The fan energy consumed to keep the equipment cool typically accounts for ~30% of the overall energy use.

Beyond temperature and humidity, airborne contaminants must also be controlled. The same contaminants that affect people – ultrafine particles, VOCs, and acid gases – also affect equipment and can lead to server failure. And since the function of the cooling system in a data center is to get as much air in contact with as many surfaces as possible, the quality of that air matters. Further, 90% of the cost of cleaning the air is fan energy.

The Dynamic V8 and EDGE Gas Phase Panels can deep clean the air of small particles and gas phase contaminants at ~1/3 of the energy consumption of standard filtration and have a typical maintenance cycle measured in years.

Contaminants of Concern

Large particles can obviously cause a range of issues, but are easily captured. Harder to catch are ultrafine particles (UFPs), those smaller than 0.1micron.  UFPs are a byproduct of combustion and reactions of ozone and other compounds in the atmosphere. They carry with them a range of adsorbed contaminants. Their movement is strongly influenced by electrostatic and electromagnetic fields, and they will deposit on boards and drives and other equipment, causing corrosion and bridging. UFPs have always made up most of the contaminants in the air in urban areas due to vehicles, planes, industry, and power plants. However, with the increase in wildfires in recent years, UFPs have become an "everywhere" issue.

VOCs and SVOCs have a myriad of indoor and outdoor sources and can also condense on internal sever surfaces and accelerate corrosion. Further, acid gases such as H2S from agricultural activities, costal marshes, water treatment plants, and landfills are themselves highly corrosive. Since data centers are often in areas with relatively inexpensive land, they often have corrosive neighbors. 

Solutions

MERV 13 passive filtration seems to be the norm in most designs we see now. These won’t do a whole lot for UFPs. Further, we often see 2” pre-filters followed by shallow 2”-4” MERV 13 panel filters – often in a flat array. This configuration uses a lot of power and will need to be changed several times a year.

Dynamic V8 will operate at MERV 15 levels and effectively control UFPs while cutting required fan energy by up to 67%. On new projects, this will typically downsize fan BHP by 40%. On existing projects, it will save a lot of energy and qualify for tax and utility incentives where available. And typical maintenance intervals are 3-5 years.

Dynamic EDGE provides precise control of targeted contaminants with a static pressure drop of less than 0.2”w.g. and no need for a post filter.

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