Freecooling vs Ecooling

Nowadays the cooling systems through Freecooling have emerged as an upward trend in the air conditioning installations of the DCs. These types of systems represent the only real possibility of reaching PUE values close to or below 1.2 and thus have already been contemplated by ASHRAE in its 90.4P guide for the design of Data Centers, offering objective PUE values according to the geographical location of the infrastructure.

GESAB’s team has been able to develop a comprehensive solution that is adaptable to the needs of the client, we speak of the patented Ecooling system. But what are the differences between a Freecooling system and the Ecooling system? Which one is the most appropriate for which Data Center facilities?
The air conditioning systems using Freecooling are based on the use of outside air to cool the Data Center equipment. There are many possibilities of performing freecooling, either directly introducing the outside air for cooling or using some intermediate fluid to perform a heat exchange with the outside and cool the DC as a secondary process. In all cases the low enthalpy of air is used when the external conditions are favorable.

The free cooling system comes into operation when the outside air is at a lower temperature than the air that is extracted from the DC, thus, performing a partial freecooling process and it can completely cool the Data Center through freecooling if the outside temperature is below the required setpoint in the cold passages. Naturally, the air used to cool the equipment goes through a series of filters to avoid damage to the equipment.

Achieving maximum energy efficiency is a goal in any Data Center project, whether of reengineering or a new work. The quest to reduce emissions and achieve a greener planet is a global concern in which these types of air conditioning solutions have much to contribute.

GESAB’s efforts have focused on developing solutions and systems that help reduce energy consumption in Data Center. The saving and the CO2 reductions are the bases of new and more efficient air conditioning systems for Data Centers that can adapt its load and take advantage of the conditions of its environment, we speak of the Ecooling system.

GESAB’s air conditioning system is based on the Freecooling concept of free cooling, but with an important and crucial innovation: The Control System. This system designed by GESAB allows to control the air conditioning machines in a precise manner and makes specific controls in the Ecooling unit like overpressure conditions, filters, speed of the fans and monitoring of the internal and external conditions among others. The system performs a real-time assessment of certain parameters, selecting the most efficient mode of operation at all times.

This solution has a number of advantages:

  • Temperature uniformity in the discharge plenum.
  • Perfect joint operation with the CCNOC enclosure.
  • Reduction of water consumption by condensation.
  • Reduction of wetting consumption.
  • Overpressure of the room and cold passages.
  • It allows to maintain a constant subdivision of the rooms facing the exterior.
  • It has a specific control system.
  • Redundant system, increasing the life of the precision units
  • Heat dissipation system in case of failure
    Its operation in parallel with the main air conditioning system allows to gain in redundancy and increase the useful life of the equipment, reducing even corrective maintenance.

In addition, the key is once again in customization. Customizing the conditions of climate machines and adapting its operation to the specific needs of the client.

Currently, the best example of the good results of a Ecooling system implementation in Data Center facilities is the new Data Center of Enagás. Enagás relied on GESAB for the design and execution of the project of its new Data Center facilities. The firm commitment, from the beginning, to install the Ecooling solution led Enagás’ Data Center to achieve specific PUE figures of 1.2. In addition, Enagás’ DC was awarded the 2017 Energy Efficiency Policy award in the 4th edition of the Data Center Market Awards.

In 2008, GESAB implemented the first Data Center with an indirect dual-battery freecooling system of direct expansion and water in the project for Securitas Direct. Since 2010, the year in which the Ecooling system was patented, numerous projects have had this air conditioning solution, such as Loterías del Estado, Enagás and more recently the project of the new GAME Data Center.
In order to carry out the installation of this type of air conditioning solutions, GESAB’s engineers always perform an energy simulation of the systems, comparing it with the actual consumption verified by the client through measurements and selecting the system that offers the best energy saving.

Finally, the commitment to the environment and the reduction of operational costs make Freecooling solutions essential to maintain competitiveness in a demanding and changing market such as that of the Data Center.