Water-cooled server cabinets for data centres

A Knurr product story
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Edited by the Electronicstalk editorial team Apr 9, 2007

Water-cooled server cabinets are gaining in popularity in UK data centres as they combine high efficiency with a low carbon footprint.

Following its introduction some four years ago, Knurr CoolTherm water-cooled server cabinet technology has successfully completed a significant number of UK pilot scheme trials.

Large UK data centres across a number of sectors are now coming on stream, with fully operational commercial systems, heralding 'water-cooled server cabinets' as a normal part of the cabinet mix within many high-density data centres.

CoolTherm is a closed-loop, low-noise level, 800mm wide 19in server cabinet, with up to 45kW of cooling capacity and zero impact on room ambient air temperature.

This enables 100% utilisation of even the most powerful blade servers within a single cabinet.

An improvement of more than 800% compared to typical high-density, conventional CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) reliant cabinet systems, with attendant floor and cabinet number reductions, plus reported 40% improvement in overall large facility operating costs, which can save millions of euro per annum.

"Having introduced the first commercially available water-cooled cabinets in 2003, we now have in excess of 1500 CoolTherm systems operating worldwide", says David McGee General Manager, Knurr UK.

Knurr has close links within the UK data-centre sector, with claims of more than 25,000 conventional Miracel 19in cabinets within London alone.

"We have supplied large numbers of pilot schemes in the last two to three years for customers to fully assess the benefits of CoolTherm water-cooled technology.

The very positive results of these tests are now seeing full-scale commercial operation throughout a large number of substantial UK sites", says David McGee.

"Many major corporations, including the financial sector, now have substantial, water-cooled CoolTherm cabinet installations operating or coming on stream, that perfectly demonstrate the obvious benefits of this new approach to data centre thermal management".

Also, in line with popular thinking, water-cooled cabinets help provide a greatly reduced carbon footprint.

CoolTherm cabinets are fitted with a base-mounted, special high-efficiency air-to-water heat exchanger and have no reliance on the rooms ambient air.

Using a building's readily available water supply and controlling the heat exchanger's input water temperature to circa 12C, the cabinets internal thermal management system ensures ideal server operating conditions are maintained, with outlet water temperature leaving the heat exchanger at circa 22C.

Water as a readily available medium, offers a 3,500 better thermal efficiency than air.

Installation of CoolTherm cabinets is very straight forward, requiring no specialised tools.

Once the pipe runs are installed below a conventional computer room suspended floor, its very easy to expand the network by simply adding more cabinets and connecting into to the flow and return with flexible plastic lines.

Future proofing is therefore readily achieved.

All fittings are conventional, approved fast-fit type or screw-lock, as preferred.

Normal cable runs to the cabinets can be under floor or laid in overhead trays as required.

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