Air-Flow Management Strategies for Data Centers

Mechanical engineer and data center design expert Vali Sorell, with Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group, wrote an article for Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine on simple approaches to improving data center capacity.

In the article, Vali discusses the potential for unlocked, untapped capacity in poorly or overly designed data centers, leading to better performance for owners and operators:

In the Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine article, Vali writes:

Imagine a computer room or data center that was built before or shortly after the turn of the century, conceptualized without containment, and designed to a long-since abandoned practice of maintaining “meat-locker” conditions — a data center that never broke the barrier of 500 kW of IT load.

Most facility managers, if they’ve been involved with data centers at all, have seen such a place, and not at the turn of the century, but rather recently. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these “forgotten” computer rooms (or data centers) may have more installed IT capacity than all the hyperscale, super-efficient, highly publicized data centers combined. Whether this assumption is true or not, what we as an industry do know is that the opportunity to improve our nation’s data centers’ efficiency remains a vast untouched resource.

Over the last 10 years, the data center industry has educated designers, operators, and managers on how to fix these inherent inefficiencies. As a result, facility managers now have many low- or no-cost ways to reduce energy use in the data center.

Read the full article at Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine.

Vali Sorell, PE, Vice President, Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group