Data center facilities pro

Nov 12 2010   3:49PM GMT

APC cooling offering to compete with the Kyoto wheel

Ryan Arsenault Ryan Arsenault Profile: Ryan Arsenault

A new data center cooling solution could give the Kyoto heat wheel a run for its money.

APC by Schneider Electric just announced the EcoBreeze, an evaporative and air-to-air heat exchange cooling solution, which has the ability to switch between air-to-air and indirect evaporative heat exchange, or inside mechanical refrigeration. Bob McFarlane, Principal, Shen Milsom & Wilke, mentions that this automatic switching between the two cooling techniques is a breakthrough.

“Designing the control systems to switch between, or to integrate, these two very different systems has been one of the most challenging aspects of air-side free cooling designs,” said McFarlane.

The Kyoto wheel, notes McFarlane, balances separating outside and inside air with accomplishing efficient heat exchange, with a low outside-to-inside transfer, but isn’t designed to effectively integrate/switch between evaporative and air-to-air – it still needs control systems for the mechanical cooling plant. Enter EcoBreeze.

This new APC device combines a built-in cooling compressor of the highest available efficiency with a unique air-to-air heat exchanger using evaporative cooling into a total, self-contained package that also incorporates all the necessary control systems and totally separates outside from inside air,” said McFarlane. “It would appear to be a well thought-out solution to the air-side free cooling challenge.”

Because of this “all-in-one” solutions approach, McFarlane says that EcoBreeze could be a serious contender pitted against the Kyoto wheel, depending on its cost.

 APC’s EcoBreeze is available modularly, in 50 kw units that can be grouped up to four or eight modules. The product will be available next year, and you can view full specs in the original press release.

More on air-side cooling:

Air-side economizers reduce energy use at NetApp data center

Air-side and water-side economizers in the data center

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Tonyd
    Unfortunately Bob McFarlane is either trying to misrepresent the KyotoCooling product or is just ignorant. KyotoCooling is designed, as standard, with a fully integrated mechanical cooling system with integrated and optimised controls that have had years of lab and field testing. Contrary to Mr McFarlane's comments, KyotoCooling does not require any additional controls to control the mechanical plant. Unlike the EcoBreeze product, KyotoCooling can use it's internal mechanical cooling system or utilise cooling from seperate chiller plant.
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  • 10to1
    It is interesting to finally see the market recognise that there are issues associated with direct outside air cooling, even though some (only the uninformed ones) mechanical engineers and HVAC suppliers would say otherwise. APC have jumped onto the air to air heat exchange band wagon and I would be suprised if they hadn't done a lot of research before going down this path. Their research would have also shown that the KyotoCooling guys had a full system (controls and all) readily available and patented and hence why they would have had to go down the path of a less efficient form of heat exchange path (prtobably using some form of plate heat exchanger) but use evaporative cooling at the front end to make up for some of those inefficiencies. We have costed Kyoto into a project we are working on and the system is efficient enough for us not to have to add the evaporative cooling and in fact the ROI for the evaporative cooler looks like about 20 years so it doesn't make sense to do it. All in all, good on APC for making this move and I am sure they have a product that is very efficient and modular. The more people that design and use these sorts of systems the less we will have to put up with the nonsense about letting outside air directly into the room and ignore humidity.
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