Airco designs Evaporative Cooling Solution

10th November 2014

Airco were faced with an interesting challenge to help a National Telecoms company within an operationally sensitive environment.
The brief was to reduce both their carbon footprint & operational costs whilst maintaining an acceptable space temperature inside a critical data centre and test area.

The existing air conditioning system was reaching the end of its serviceable working life and operated on refrigerant R22 which will become illegal to service as of the 1st January 2015 (EC/1005/2009). The other issue was that the air conditioning equipment consumed more power than the critical equipment located within the room thus wasting costly energy.
Key members of staff from Airco & the client’s Estates Department set up a team to explore all options, which included energy consumption and the reduction of its greenhouse gas emmisions.
We looked at many conventional mechanical cooling options, none of which produced the desired outcome.
Airco then designed, installed & commissioned an innovative evaporative cooling solution.
This in itself involved many challenges, not least convincing the client’s management that introducing water to a data centre was a viable option!
Nevertheless the go-ahead was given, and the finished system, which uses both fresh air and water as the medium for cooling, has proved a huge success.
Energy costs have been reduced by up to 90%, and as Airco designed the system with free cooling in mind, it is likely that simple fresh air will suffice to cool the building for the majority of the year.
Other benefits include the eradication of ‘hot spots’, with an even space temperature now maintained throughout the room.
The Power Use Efficiency (PUE), a measurement within data centres of the energy consumed by the computer equipment vs the energy needed to power the cooling equipment and lighting, has dramatically improved.
Chris Goodwin, Commercial Director at Airco, who led the project, is delighted with the outcome. “It’s great to be involved in a scheme such as this” said Chris. “We relished the opportunity to design an innovative, sustainable solution for a blue chip client. The end result has surpassed our expectations, and I suspect we will be designing many similar systems in the near future. The next stage will be to design a system that includes PV panels. Our aim is to get the data centres as close to carbon neutral as we can”.