How to Create an Airflow Management Plan

One of the most crucial aspects of running a data center is creating an airflow management plan. About 40% of the total operational budget for running a data center is used to pay for the data center air conditioning. It is best to ensure that there are efficient airflow management strategies so that energy is not wasted.

With proper airflow management, you will be able to save a lot of energy and avoid high temperatures in the data center.

Hot Aisle | Cold Aisle

This is the first step in planning your data center air conditioning. With this layout, server racks are placed in alternating rows. The front air intakes will be facing each other and the rear ends of adjacent rows will be facing each other in the next aisle over.

The reason for this arrangement is that it allows equipment in the racks to pull in cool air from the front-facing rows. The backs of the rows that face each other will release heat at the same time in the same space. This arrangement prevents a situation where warm air from one back-facing row ends up heating cool air pulled in by the equipment in the next. This would be a waste of energy.

Physical Divisions Between Aisles

Even when the rows are arranged as described above, there will still be another problem. Server racks are not as high as the ceiling. Without further measures, the warm and cool air will mix anyway as they meet at the top of the rows.

To avoid this, physical barriers can be installed between aisles. You can also install barriers at the end of each aisle to further separate the air.

Forced Air into Cold Aisles and Exhausts at the Top of Hot Aisles

Cold air being released from the facility’s chillers must enter through grated panels on a raised floor. As it comes directly from the grates, the air will be perfectly chilled. This ensures that there is a constant supply of cold air for your equipment to pull in.

Because hot air tends to rise, it would be best to install exhaust vents in the ceiling above the warm aisles. Hot air released from the equipment will then travel up through the vents. The hot air can either be discharged outside or channeled back into the cooling system when it leaves.

Other aspects that you need to consider include:

  • Installing proper doors
  • Positioning the equipment properly
  • Setting up the server racks in an efficient way

A proper data center airflow management plan is an efficient way to keep facilities at the required temperature. It also helps to ensure that excess energy is not lost to the data center air conditioning.

How Can LDP Help Create an Efficient Airflow Management Plan?

As the provider of mission-critical support solutions for data centers, we can help to come up with a floor layout that maximizes cooling. We also help data centers with a roadmap to capacity planning for the future. Get in touch with us today!