Infrastructure and data center management – water cooling is undergoing a renaissance

If you look at modern businesses, you’ll quickly find the following: a well-functioning IT infrastructure is critical to the competition. Driven by increased digitization, the need for high-performance data centers is also growing. But more efficiency also means more energy consumption. To take environmental responsibility into account, companies must take steps to reduce energy consumption and ensure optimal cooling. Water should make a decisive contribution to this.

Particularly in the field of air conditioning, data center operators are continually looking for solutions for valuable energy savings. One approach: minimizing air transport, with the return to the water-cooled CPU as the most consistent of all approaches. A somewhat less drastic concept is to minimize air transport in the data center by placing the water cooling system as close as possible to the heat generating source.

Several years ago, Huiya Raised Floor Systems in southern Germany, a region traditionally committed to innovation, developed a water-cooled elevated floor under the Huiya Panel brand, in order to fully meet these high cooling demands.

However, this should not be the end of the development of innovative systems around the water-cooled elevated floor. For now, in addition to the Huiya Raised Floor panels, the manufacturer now offers a complete family of products on the market, consisting of the Huiya panel, in the XL and Micro versions, as well as versions V and VDX. Huiya Panel have a fan and heat exchanger installed horizontally, so work above the dew point. However, in the last two variations, V and VDX are installed two V-shaped heat exchangers with four fans. This allows to work with very low water temperatures or, in the case of Huiya Panel VDX, with compressed refrigerants.

The panels combine the advantages of in row and side cooling coolers with a decisive advantage that is unique in data center climate control. You save valuable space in the datacenter. This way, more server racks can be installed within the same rooms than when using conventional cooling solutions. Therefore, the installation of Huiya panels in front of and behind the racks contributes to the aforementioned reduction of air transport in the room. The Huiya panels family includes options in suction or blow formats.

By focusing on increasing cooling capacity, as well as optimizing airflow, the data center raised floor system also allows panels to be placed in the hot or cold aisle, or to combine both types. Another type of installation would be to integrate the system as an additional of conventional coolers in the hot aisle to complement its capacity and redundancy.

As a reference point for other products, the smaller version of the Huiya series, with a power output of 10 kW, offers a maximum power consumption of 140 watts. On the other hand, if necessary, cooling capacities of up to 50 kW per panel can be achieved. With a standard size of 600 x 600 mm for Huiya Panel, XL and Micro, and with 1,200 x 600 mm for Huiya Panel V and VDX, the cooling tiles adapt to all conventional elevated floors, including those of the imperial system, allowing adaptation in existing data centers. The prerequisite for installation is a minimum height of 450 mm. Looking more closely at the technical details, the point load values are 3 to 5 kN. There is a certification according to DIN EN 12825.

You can customize heat exchanger height, performance and/or spatial conditions. The manufacturer’s latest elevated flooring project is a fully customized system for the University of Copenhagen DTU’s High Performance Computing Center. In a special container, a supercomputer consisting of 524 servers and 16,768 CPUs was integrated into 30 racks with a total heat load of 500 KW within 10 weeks of the order.

We were chosen because we were the only ones who could fully respond to the requirements of the University. To meet the demanding requirements, we have resized the devices and fully adapted the regulation controller based on a Phoenix Contact PLC control that has enabled full integration with the installation control system. The customer literally did not have the space to achieve the required performance in the existing space.

Especially universities emerged as the main clients, along with medium-sized companies. The trend towards Edge Computing also adopts the water-cooled elevated floor, as it can take advantage of all the benefits of water cooling with indirect free cooling systems, positioning itself as a highly efficient solution considering its cost and the use of space in smaller decentralized data centers.

For the renowned Data Center Raised Floor supplies as an OEM supplier the water-cooled flooring for, among others, the IT Smart Cage product. It is a complete and pre-assembled data center that, due to its design, aims to overcome the conventional barriers of data center construction and therefore offers the highest possible performance in the available space. 

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