Isolate the hot rows or the cold rows in a data center?

Tags:
Cold aisle
Data center cooling
Data center design
Data Center Layout
FM-200
FM-200 Fire Suppression Systems
Hot aisle
Hot Aisle/Cold Aisle
Our budget is limited as well as our ability to reconfigure our current FM200 system. If we had to choose, would the bigger gain be from isolating the hot rows or the cold rows? We have cooling coming up from the floor and over head vents for the heat.
ASKED: February 25, 2010  8:08 PM
UPDATED: March 1, 2010  9:33 PM

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The simple answer is isolate the cold isle providing you have sufficient cold air flow.
If you contain the hot isle you need to cool the surrounding building areas, this creates non focused cooling and additional heat loss to areas not required. Eg with cold isles containment you only cool the cold isle not the surrounding walls and cabinets etc. Of course you still need to have sufficient cooling for the entire computer room and for the cooling losses thought external walls etc. The non critical areas can be cooled at a higher temp creating higher efficiency.
There is a couple of items to consider. If you don’t have enough total cooling your data room temp will rise and thus the cold supply air to the cold isle will also rise. The other item is if you cant get sufficient cold air into the cold isle you can consider hot isle containment and allow the additional air to be sucked into the cold isle from the surrounding areas, provided you still have sufficient cooling for the total computer room.

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  • Batman47
    From my experience you should isolate the cold row and keep the entire row under 70 degrees. We had A/C problems for years until we finally isolated it by doing the following: 1. All perforated tiles are located in the cold isle. 2. Removed all uncessary cables and equipment from that area to generate more airflow 3. Built walls under the floor to direct the air to the cold isle and keep it there. 4. Installed plastic curtains from the ceiling to the floor on each end and from the ceiling the front of the servers. 5. Installed a Liebert CRV to remove the heat from our biggest heat source: our SAN equipment. The intake is 87 degress and it blows 67 degree air into the cold isle. No problems since. Each of these steps is more expensive that the previous, so start with the first one and see how far you can go.
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