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Novel Way to Cool Data Centers Passes First Test

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A new system that could make the cooling of data centers vastly more efficient has been tested by a team of engineers led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The engineers fed temperature readings from sensors built into most contemporary servers directly into the data-center building controls, enabling the air conditioning system to maintain just the right temperature to keep the servers cool.

An end-user study says that more than three-quarters of data centers use a cooling method in which information technology (IT) and facilities management systems are managed independently, with Computer Room Air Handlers (CRAH) most often controlled using temperature sensors sited on or close by the CRAH air inlets. The engineers needed to develop software to convert the IT information into a protocol that the CRAH units can comprehend.

"The main goal we had was to show that you could do this, that you could use the sensors in the IT equipment to control the building systems, and we achieved that," says Lawrence Berkeley program manager Bill Tschudi. One of the method's appealing aspects is the relatively low upfront costs. "We're using industry-standard technologies, so there's no special sauce that would prevent customers from employing this," says Intel's Allyson Klein.

From IDG News Service
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