Chiller optimization for data center infrastructure

Tip series

Chiller optimization for data center infrastructure

As data center operators focus more on data center energy efficiency, they need to consider the cost and level of power consumption associated with server cooling. In this three-part series, expert Mike Flaherty discusses how to optimize chilled-water production for cooling in your data center.

First, Flaherty outlines the basics of efficient cooling production, such as hydronic configurations and equipment selection strategies. In part two, he deals with data center capacity limitations and how to better use your chilled-water plant. In the final installment, Flaherty outlines important efficiency considerations for builiding a new data center, including the option of implementing pre-packaged chiller plants.


Chilled-water production optimization for data center cooling, part 1
Reducing the amount of cooling in the data center is an important energy-efficiency consideration, but there is no circumventing the need to cool servers. Data centers must also ensure that water is chilled efficiently. Cooling optimization starts with the right hydronic configuration and equipment as well as the ability to meet cooling demand at the lowest kilowatt per ton.

Improving data center cooling capacity with chilled-water plants, part 2
Chiller plants are often underused, which can cause data centers to reach their maximum cooling capacity and sometimes prompt the need to build new data center facilities. Consider your current cooling production and evaluate where you can recover unused capacity and improve chiller-plant efficiency. You may be able to reduce operating costs and delay the need to build a new data center.

Packaged chiller plants increase data center cooling efficiency, part 3
If you've reached your data center power capacity limit and it's time to plan a new facility, think beyond whether your chiller plant can produce enough cold water to do the job. Your design should incorporate energy-efficient and cost-saving cooling methods. Consider choosing pre-packaged chiller plants. These flexible, customized designs address issues of size, capacity and efficiency, and offer key financial benefits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Flaherty is general manager of tekWorx, a Cincinnati-based engineering and control firm that specializes in optimizing energy usage in chiller and boiler plants. Prior to founding tekWorx 2000, Mike had over 20 years experience in computer control and software technology for production machinery and industrial processes. He has served in executive positions at leading industrial automation companies including Allen-Bradley and Parker-Hannifin Corp.

This was first published in January 2009