Liebert showcases new cold-aisle containment technology

Phil Dunn of Liebert discusses the benefits of cold-aisle containment over hot-aisle containment.


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Liebert showcases new cold-aisle containment technology

Mark Fontecchio: Hi, I'm Mark Fontecchio. I'm a reporter for TechTarget, and I'm here right now with Phil Dunn. He's a product manager for Emerson Network Power and Liebert Cooling. He's going to talk to us a little bit about the cold-aisle containment product that Liebert has on the market.

Phil Dunn: What we have here is a product that's been marketed in Europe for about a year, and we're bringing it to North America. From our studies, we know that containment, whether it's hot-aisle or cold-aisle, has a significant improvement in efficiency in the data center for cooling. We happen to believe that cooling is a better iteration of that because the predominant reason for cooling in a data center is to bring cold air directly to the mouth of IT equipment. So, it made more sense to do cold-aisle containment rather than hot-aisle containment. There are some benefits of cold-aisle containment, and that is number one, in the case of a catastrophic failure, you would have slower temperature rise because you have chilled air to begin with, and you've segregated your hot-aisle from your cold-aisle, so the air stays cooler for a longer period of time. There are some other secondary benefits as well, but that's the primary reason.

The system is designed to be modular, and in its simplest implementation, the customer can buy a rack, a sealing structure and doors to contain the space. But we also have modular provisions for wire management and then supplemental cooling, providing for the customer to go to even higher kW. Liebert says that in the traditional raised for cooling, you should be able to cool up to 5kW per cabinet without any supplemental cooling. With cold-aisle containment, we can say you can easily double that. There are a lot of variables that go into that. For some circumstances, it would be significantly higher than that. But the real gist is that you're going to have significant increase in cooling efficiencies by using cold-aisle containment. In many cases, you'll extend the life of your current rack system for years to come because you reduce the load on it because you've increased the efficiency so much.

Mark Fontecchio: Phil, if you used the race for cooling in conjunction with over the rack, those XD products, then what kind of cooling capacity can you get?

Phil Dunn: Well, you figure you'd get, at least, 10kW per rack of cooling use in cold-aisle containment. The XDV provides a supplemental 10kW cooling to the rack, so that would be a 20kW load. And then, we have other products that have higher supplemental cooling as well.

Mark Fontecchio: OK. And you said these aren't the only type, these sliding doors aren't the only type of doors that are available, correct?

Phil Dunn: Correct. There's a lot of variation between how local fire marshals interpret code. So, in many cases fire marshals are going to require doors that open out in case of a fire. So, we also have the standard door set that swings out. We showed this one at the trade show because it takes up no space. It's more efficient to show. The other thing is in many cases there's going to have to be fire suppression nozzles that come directly into the cold-aisle space. These are flame retardant polycarbonate panels. They're clear so the light from the data center comes into the space, but the nozzle could be extended with the addition of a simple hole into the data center space.

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