Data center cooling systems need to maintain temperatures that support the continuous and reliable performance of information technology equipment (ITE) such as blade servers, networking switches, and routers. If heat isn’t removed from the vicinity of sensitive ITE components, overheating can occur. If servers get too hot, onboard logic will turn-off computers to avoid damage. This protects data center assets, but results in downtime and loss of efficiency.
Data center servers can run at temperatures that aren’t high enough to trigger a shut-off, but doing so can reduce equipment life. Humidity levels and airborne contamination can impede performance, too. For data center owners, developers, and operators, the high cost of cooling is especially problematic. As Pacific Gas & Electric explains in its Data Center Best Practices Guide, data centers can consume 100 to 200 times as much electricity as standard office spaces.
Data Center Designs and Data Center Retrofits
Data center cooling systems provide an opportunity for cost-savings and efficiency gains, but many data centers are located in commercial buildings rather than facilities with raised floors that deliver pressurized air from a computer room air conditioner (CRAC) or computer room air handler (CRAH). Yet even raised floors with CRAC/CRAH units don’t represent state-of-the-art cooling technologies. Hot aisle containment and cold aisle containment are just some of the newer techniques that data center designers are using.
For HVAC engineers and facility managers, designing or retrofitting a data center cooling system can be challenging. The principles of comfort cooling apply to IT employees, but ITE has different cooling requirements. Sound-absorbing acoustic insulation is often required, too. Data center designers and HVAC maintenance, repair, and overhaul organizations (MROs) can help with system selection, but these experts still need to source the right components.
For sealing and insulation solutions that add value to data center cooling systems, Elasto Proxy delivers.
Value-Added Manufacturing for Seals, Gaskets, and HVAC Insulation
Elasto Proxy uses water jet cutting, splicing, taping, and lamination to custom-fabricate seals, gaskets, and insulation for data center cooling systems. Water jet cutting is ideal for prototyping and low-to-medium volume quantities because there are no tooling costs or waiting for tooling. Splicing produces strong corners and supports reliable sealing. Taping replaces glues, adhesives, and mechanical fasteners to promote ease-of-installation. Lamination joins layers of sheet materials to provide thermal and acoustic insulation, noise control, vibration dampening, and properties such as fire resistance.
Elasto Proxy’s custom fabrication capabilities also include industrial sewing for removable insulation that supports HVAC maintenance and repair. Much like the heat blankets or exhaust blankets that are used with diesel engines in mobile equipment, this custom HVAC insulation has Velcro tabs. Materials of construction include closed-cell sponge or expanded-rubber materials and mineral-fiber blanket insulation. ASHRAE Standard 90.1, NFPA 255, and UL 723 are some of the standards that insulation designers need to consider for this type of custom insulation.
Elasto Proxy also adds value to data center designs and retrofits by reviewing your part schematics and helping you with material selection. Our technical team can assist you in developing sealing and insulation solutions that meet the requirements of ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 (TC 9.9), a standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). These guidelines are based on server inlet temperatures rather than internal server temperatures, and support the design of data center cooling that’s more energy-efficient than the traditional “meat locker” approach.
HVAC Parts for Data Center Cooling Systems
Elasto Proxy custom-fabricates HVAC replacement parts such as access panel gaskets, hose gaskets, air vent seals, air duct seals, vibration mounts, HVAC duct insulation, and acoustic insulation. For over 25 years, we’ve specialized in the design and custom-fabrication of value-added solutions for sealing and insulation challenges. So whether you’re planning a data center design or a data center retrofit, we invite you contact us for more information about custom HVAC seals, gaskets, and insulation.