What correlation does consistent supply air across the face of the rack have to do with increased data center capacity?
Hot or Cold Aisle Containment can significantly increase the capacity of a data center when all U’s are fully populated due to consistent intake temperatures across the rack face.
Additionally, when cooling energy can be converted to IT equipment this too can elongate the life of a data center that is running out of power.
Problem Statement – Air Stratification
Most data centers without containment have air stratification. Air stratification occurs when supply and return air mix. This creates several temperature layers along the intake face of the rack. It is not uncommon for the temperature at the bottom of the rack to be 8 to 10 degrees colder than the top. As a result, many data centers have implemented policies that do not allow the top 6 to 8 U’s to be populated. This can decrease the data centers IT equipment capacity by 16%. Capacity from a space perspective is one thing, but when the unpopulated U’s are potentially high density systems the lost space is amplified.