Schneider offers 6% cut in Capex with Ecoflair data centre cooling

Schneider Electric
Energy management and automation company Schneider Electric has launched Ecoflair Indirect Air Economizer cooling solution – with its polymer heat exchanger technology — for data centres.

Ecoflair has the capabilities to maintain optimum operating temperatures and use minimum energy at data centres. Schneider Electric said that the new cooling system can reduce operating costs by over 60 percent compared to legacy cooling approaches.

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The capability enables data centres to keep greater proportion of data centre energy for powering IT equipment, improving facility Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). The design removes cooling equipment from the data centre floor freeing up white space.

Its tubular design prevents fouling, which happens with plate style heat exchangers, and minimizes maintenance and impact to performance over the life of the heat exchanger. The corrosion-proof polymer is better as compared to other designs that use coated aluminium which corrodes when wet or exposed to the outdoor elements.

“The heat exchanger is also modular making it easily replaced, should it be required, minimizing downtime and inconvenience,” said John Nieman, director of Product Management, Cooling Solutions at Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric said that Ecoflair, which is available in 250kW and 500kW modules, is suitable for colocation facilities rated between 1 and 5MW (250kW modules) and large hyperscale or cloud data centres rated up to 40MW (500kW modules). The modularity allows the cooling to grow at the same rate as power upgrades, according to the needs of the data centre as IT loads expand.

Indirect air economization can be deployed regardless of most environmental or climactic conditions pertaining to the data centre’s location – the technology is typically suitable for at least 80 percent of all global locations.

Such adaptability helps data centre owners to standardize the cooling architecture of their facilities providing repeatable designs that speed deployment and reduce operational and maintenance costs.

Ecoflair can reduce cooling operating costs by 60 percent compared with legacy systems based on chilled water or refrigerant technologies. When compared with other indirect air economiser systems, the efficiency of Ecoflair is better by between 15 and 20 percent.

Schneider Electric said increase could be as much as 30 percent more IT with the same electrical infrastructure when compared to typical cooling topologies like Chilled water or DX based.

Schneider Electric indicates that data centres can save Capex of as much as 6 percent due to a smaller electrical infrastructure needed from a smaller electrical distribution and back-up power requirements.

For comparison, a 1MW data centre based in London and using a traditional efficient chilled-water cooling system would operate at a PUE of 1.14 whereas the same facility using an Ecoflair system would reduce PUE to 1.039. This results in annual financial savings of €88,000.

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