Tropical Climate Cooling

When we think of cooling in the tropical environments the first issue that comes to mind is the intense humidity ranging anywhere from 75% to 100%, and how best to deal with it. There are a number of challenges in providing solutions for tropical climates. We not only need to include city locations, but consider regional, coastal and inland conditions. The way we implement a cooling solution for the tropics will also have an impact on power.

The tropics are a region that sit north and south of the Equator. The Tropic of Cancer lies in the Northern Hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. 40% of the Earth’s surface area is taken up by the tropic region and contain 36% of the Earth’s landmass. In country terms, this includes the northern part of Australia, most part of Asia up to the southern area of Taiwan, India from south of Bhopal, south of Aswan in Egypt to the midway points of Botswana and Namibia, and from Cuba down to Rio de Janeiro in South America. 

Our considerations must also include the subtropical areas as well that stretch north and south of the tropic latitudes of around 1,500 kilometres. 

The first question to ask, is what supporting data centre infrastructure is required to implement efficiency technologies. What comes to mind is a host of organisations with various standards such as ASHRAE, Green Grid, CIBSE, UpTime Institute and so forth. These and other organisations are striving to set standards for data centres across the globe. The problem here is that there is no one particular standard addressing all our needs leading to certain frustrations when embarking on the design of a data centre. 

The other factor is the consideration of local codes such as fire, water & electrical standards. Of course, these differ significantly across the APAC region. 

We know that evaporative cooling in high humidity areas does not work well. We also know that using free air flow works very well in the temperate zones but, is very problematic and requires extensive de-humidification in the tropics. So apart from standard air-conditioning units and water based chillers, what else provides a better solution and can incorporate energy efficiency savings.

OK, let’s have a look at a new recently developed award winning technology that seemingly addresses this problem (without going into brand names – sorry).

Driven by industry demand , this technology was designed specifically for data centres. It uses the waste heat from the data centre and with a combination of gravity and a syphoning effect, it drives a refrigeration cycle capable of operating without pumps or compressors. By removing the use of pumps and compressors it reportedly provides remarkable levels of energy efficiency. Subsequent versions of this technology will include “Split Systems”, such as above-aisle modules and perimeter CRAH units, providing scalable cooling for new builds and retrofit applications. As there is no outside air gaining access to the data hall, it will be able to eliminate the potential risk of contamination from air pollutants.

I guess the question is, how does this technology help meet data centre owners and operators rising energy saving and cost reduction demands?

So basically, this innovation can be coined as Indirect Thermosyphon Cooling. Is is a compact, efficient, and cost-effective indirect air side economiser that uses ‘thermosyphon’ air-to-air heat exchangers to reject the heat coming from the data centre to ambient temperature levels thus offering data centre owners and operators an energy efficient indirect cooling solution without the need for water.

What we can glean from this technology, to my mind, is versatility. Where once we had to provide different solutions to different climatic regions, it appears now that this technology innovation can provide one solution package across these climatic regions. For me, that removes a considerable amount of headache and heartache. It not only provides a single solution but by removing pumps, compressors, chillers and water will save substantially on the data centres set-up costs and TCO as well as significant savings on the data centres OPEX.

As mentioned previously, this technology was recently awarded “Best Data Centre Energy Solution”. The features that tick the right box and make it a valuable and innovative energy efficient solution for customers is that this low energy cooling solution is;

  • Scalable for future growth
  • Has the ability to cope with Tropical Climates
  • Cope with local air pollution
  • Handles multi-story data halls
  • Meets shipping requirements
  • Removes the use of pumps and compressors
  • Removes the use of water and chilling towers
  • Up to 75% energy cost savings compared to water cooled chillers with CRAH’s
  • Energy efficient solution
  • Substantial savings in infrastructure and space.

The vision of the company responsible for this technology is about being the ‘perfect climate partner’ for its customers, leading the way for energy efficient and sustainable cooling solutions. They are quoted as stating ‘by listening to our customer and industry needs for cooling’.

They have a solid hard working R&D department. ‘Our teams are continually developing and pushing the boundaries for data centre cooling with the main aim being the optimization of efficiency’.

Editor’s perspective. Sounds great. Let’s watch this space and hopefully we will see it being spruiked at some industry events in the very near future.

Keen to know more about effective cooling of tropical data centers? Join 1,000 data center and telco providers, end-users, consultants and system integrators across Asia Pacific to uncover the best practices and technology innovations at the APAC Data Center Convention 2018: Design & Operations (ADC), 3 July 2018 at Marina Bay Sands, organised by W.Media.

ADC’s Conference Page and Registration are now live. Our curated agenda will keep you occupied and there are many like-minded professionals you can meet.

Email or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.