The under floor area of the data center has been the storage area for the cold air of the airflow cooling system. The air is sent into this area and is pressurized. The goal of this system is to create enough pressure so as to force air through the perforated tiles. The hope is that the air coming out of the floor tiles will flow upward and be pulled through by the server fan.

This system has worked relatively well even though only 28% of the air in the system actually provided cooling, as the servers were not generating a significant amount of heat. With the emergence of virtualization, more robust applications, video and IP applications, the server need for more air for cooling purposes has increased.

Lack of efficiency in these systems has lead data center managers to add more cooling, lower the temperature of the room and increase static pressure to try to keep the servers from failing and to remove hotspots. This has lead facilities managers to provide 2.6 times more cooling than is necessary (see “Cooling Techniques that Meet “24 by Forever” demands of your data center” by Dr. Bob Sullivan and Kenneth G. Brill). The Uptime institute believes that 72% of the air in the data center is not getting to the servers. One of the major reasons for this is that a great deal of air is sitting in a pool under the floor. In effect, data center managers are using air to create a wall to push the air through the tiles.

The cost of energy and the need for additional power has made the use of a system with this level of inefficiency so costly that the cooling of servers costs as much as powering the servers. Data Center managers are learning that the use of pressure (using air to channel air) has more problems as the air coming out of the tile doesn’t even get to the servers as there is not enough velocity coming out of the tile to get the air to the upper servers.

Triad has created the River Cooling System as a way of reducing the air under the floor. There are three components to the River Cooling under floor system.

These consist of:

1.Under floor walls
2.Floor height
3.River bank design

By using under floor walls from companies like GapHOG, Plenaform and Sub Zero, you can reduce the need for chilled air by as much as 50%. By creating “River” banks under the floor, you can redirect air to perforated tiles. His enables you to reduce the number of CRAC units needed while positively impacting the thermal integrity of the cold air generated by the CRAC units.

Under floor walls can also be supplemented by lowering the height of the raised floor. Many floor systems are as high as 4′. By lowering the height of the floor you can reduce the cost of the floor system while reducing the amount of wasted air under the floor.

Lastly, there are several designs that can improve the velocity of the air out of the tiles and keep pressures equal throughout the under floor system. These vary based on the length of the under floor River system and floor height.

Please contact Triad Floors if you have any questions.

Underfloor Walls

Under floor walls can also be supplemented by lowering the height of the raised floor. Many floor systems are as high as 4′.

By lowering the height of the floor you can reduce the cost of the floor system while reducing the amount of wasted air under the floor.