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Design Best Practices for Data Centers

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Power analytics systems act as an on-board electrical power system expert, to intelligently filter the power system sensory data, help owner/operators understand the real-time health of their electrical power system, as well as diagnose whether that health is stable, deteriorating, or becoming overloaded (Figure 1).

Fig. 1 Paladin Design Base power systems engineering modeling platform allows for the development of design models that are re-deployable in real-time.)

Fig. 1 Paladin Design Base power systems engineering modeling platform allows for the development of design models that are re-deployable in real-time. (Click image to enlarge)

Thus, business-impacting decisions rooted in the health and reliability of electrical power can be made well before a costly problem occurs. Incorporating artificial, intelligence-like attributes, power analytics can help the facility or IT manager consider important issues such as:

  • How much more capacity can our existing facilities accommodate, before it becomes necessary to make arrangements for new facilities?
  • What would be the operational impact of adding new equipment, changing configurations or adopting new technology?
  • If we were to outsource our manufacturing - or we needed to monitor our suppliers' facilities to ensure the integrity of their systems - how could we do so?

    Keeping Your Cool

    Technologies such as blade servers make cooling an even larger consideration in the facilities' design as they significantly alter the cooling landscape. Moreover, green technologies for HVAC are very much load and location dependent, so the answers are not always intuitive. It is important to start the design process with a clean sheet, and to make the initial design decisions based upon sound energy and financial modeling.

    Important questions to be considered include:

  • Is the HVAC system you are installing today able to handle changes in the future?
  • Will you be able to add more Computer Room Air Conditioner (CRACs) or Computer Room Air Handler (CRAHs)?
  • Will you be able to add enough to handle the anticipated load? What about chiller loops and cooling tower capacity?
  • Can the architecture handle a 25 or a 50 percent increase in growth when required? If not, that could present major challenges down the road. Without proper cooling, equipment will fail and outages will cause havoc on your operations.
  • Does the cooling system strike the right balance between capital and operating costs? Has the system efficiency been evaluated and correlated with the expected load growth and utility escalation rates?

    continued on page 4

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