Uninterruptible Cooling System for Data Centers

Rajesh Nair, CTO

What happens when the power goes out in a data center? The CRACs stop working and backup generators go into action and restore the power supply to CRACs within minutes. In those first few minutes though, cooling in the data center is interrupted -- but the heat load from IT systems remains unchanged – IT systems remain functioning on a UPS system.

Left unchecked, this can cause a thermal runaway condition and IT failure within a few minutes of a power failure.

There is a way to minimize this risk. Under normal operation, the underfloor plenum has a constant flow of cold air generated by CRACs. When the CRACs stop, the plenum becomes a reservoir of cold still air, meanwhile the data center is starving for cold air. By tapping into this trapped cold air, data centers can remain relatively cool while the generators reset the CRACs.

With some very simple modifications, you can solve the issue of cooling disruption and operational reliability.

Installing tile-mounted airmovers (HotSpotr HT-510), operating on UPS, will continue to bring cold air up from under the floor even during power failures. Normally there is enough cold air under the raised floor to cool the room for several minutes during a power emergency. Our in-field tests showed that temperature of air moved by the tile can stay steady for more than five minutes with all CRACs off. We call this Uninterruptible Cooling to complement your UPS.

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