Cooling in data centers is often achieved by direct expansion chillers. This kind of systems, in addition to being highly energy-intensive, employ refrigerants that are pollutants, and thus more and more banned or limited by regulations. The increase in the computational power, due to the global adoption of artificial intelligence, big data analytics and cloud computing, machine learning and blockchain, has an effect increasing the impact of data centers upon the global warming.
If actually the increase of working temperatures of computers is reducing the need of mechanical cooling in data centers, regulations are pushing to a drastic reduction in the employ of refrigerants, responsible of greenhouse gas emissions.
Different HFC (hydro-fluorocarbon) refrigerants are employed in data centers, the most commonly being the R13a (in big plants) and the R410A (in small-medium size data centers). Their control imposed by regulations around the world is making their prices getting higher, pushing operators to find out new technologies and green cooling strategies for data centers.
Among green solutions for data centers, there is the employ of TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers for liquid cooling of the servers. Possibly also leveraging cold water available in the environment (as achieved in the Green Mountain installation in Norway). Getting rid of chillers, in addition to eliminating the use of HFC refrigerants, also would allow low energy consumption in data center operations.
Free cooling is another green cooling strategy for data centers, that stands out, as well as dimple jacket exchangers, for cooling efficiency and sustainability. The free cooling employs cold environmental air where it’s available, representing an efficient solution combined with cold water cooled systems. Moreover, the option of an adiabatic boost, which extends the dissipation efficiency of the free cooling systems, makes this green cooling solutions feasible in a wider range of geographical areas.