How to Protect Your Data Center in Extreme Weather
Whether the weather brings scorching heat or frigid temps and ice storms, data center operators all throughout the nation must be prepared for any and all types of weather, in addition to other types of unexpected disasters. How can you protect your data center in extreme weather?
While Mother Nature tends to be a bit unpredictable at times, you can rest assured that many issues are easily avoided through routine maintenance and guidance from a reputable, reliable source.
Protecting Your Data Center in Cold Weather
When the weather outside is frightful, be prepared for some not-so-delightful outcomes to affect your data center. In the winter, the biggest risks are primarily local power outages, power grid failures, and generator failures. This is especially true in regions facing imminent threats of snow and ice storms.
Do an Audit of Your Physical Infrastructure
First things first, complete a full inspection of your equipment to determine possible vulnerabilities. Protect your data center by starting with these items:
- Do your generators have fuel additives to protect against the weather? Are your block heaters fully functioning?
- Are your surge protection and UPS systems functioning on all network appliances?
- Are your facility’s roofs and HVAC equipment protected from ice or water penetration if a storm hits?
Invest in Proper, Up-to-Date Equipment
Humidification systems have to work hard in cold weather scenarios. Efficient humidifiers are crucial, and when used properly, can help you save on energy, too.
Keep an eye on the outdoor heat rejection as well. If you are using fluid coolers, make sure the glycol percentage is correct before the weather gets below freezing. Condensers need to be properly charged to be able to start in cold weather operations, so fall is a good time to check operating pressures.
Safeguard your facility with the appropriate humidification units, cooling towers, HVAC heating coils, and more, through our Data Center Thermal Management Systems!
Once you have proper equipment in place, keep things moving on the up and up with our Commercial HVAC Services. We offer customizable preventative maintenance programs, including year-round emergency services for optimal peace of mind.
We are in a unique position where we can solve all of your critical heating and cooling needs in conjunction with maintaining your commercial and industrial HVAC equipment. Contact us today to learn more about how to protect your data center!
Protecting Your Data Center in Hot Weather
In the dead of winter, a blazing summer day can seem like a dream. However, sizzling hot days come with their share of problems, too. Read on to learn how extremely high temperatures can negatively impact your data center, and what you can do to mitigate complications.
During the summer months, data centers are very susceptible to overheating. It’s especially important to be mindful of your data center’s heating and cooling patterns so that you can anticipate needs, prevent overheating, and avoid overspending on your energy bill.
Monitor Your Data Center’s Humidity and Temperature
Take some time to monitor the temperature and humidity in your data center on a regular basis. This will give you a better understanding of how your space is performing and where vulnerabilities may arise. Set up multiple temperature and humidity sensors throughout your facility so you can get a more comprehensive picture. To help you achieve this goal, we recommend the following products:
- Liebert SN Sensors
- Vertiv™ Geist™ Temperature, Humidity, Dew Point Sensor
- Liebert TW420 and THW420 Environmental Sensors
- Liebert SN-Z03 Integrated Temperature and Humidity Sensor
Aim for a temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 50% or less.
Additionally, pay attention to the dew point, which is a measure of how much moisture is in the air. The dew point should be at least 5 degrees lower than the temperature for proper cooling efficiency.
Vertiv’s Advice on Beating the Heat in Your Data Center
As a proud Vertiv partner and provider, we co-sign all their advice and guidance. With more than one million power and environmental control systems installed throughout more than 100 countries, Vertiv Liebert has more ways to protect and cool sensitive electronics than anyone.
Steve Madara currently serves as a global vice president in Vertiv’s Thermal Management group. With regards to keeping data centers cool, he says, “Depending on the data hall load, you should run as many as possible to reduce the load on each individual cooling unit. Typically, an organization would run all redundant units, but if the IT load is not 100%, one should run enough units to get the per-cooling unit as close as possible. This keeps the refrigerant pressures lower so there is not a risk of trips on high pressure during the high ambient temperature condition. It also provides a more efficient operating point.”
Madara goes on to explain the importance of preventative maintenance, imploring it to be done quarterly to avert issues before they even start.
“Although coil cleaning is part of recommended quarterly preventive maintenance, coil inspection and cleaning should occur more frequently, especially during pollen, dust, and cottonwood seasons, as well as when you enter high ambient conditions during the summer months,” says Steve.
“The lack of proper and regular cleaning of the condenser coil can cause more of a reduction in the overall thermal unit than the ambient temperature itself, as it reduces the heat-transfer capability of the coil and becomes more critical when the ambient temperatures climb. Additionally, a combination of high ambient temperatures and dirty coils can cause the system refrigerant pressures to increase to the point where the unit shuts down on the high-pressure safety switch. This could cause an unexpected loss of cooling during a critical time,” he warns.
In addition to cleaning your condenser coils, refrigerant charge levels should be examined and well-maintained.
“If the levels are too low or out of range, you may not be able to deliver on the design capacity and run the risk of the compressors overheating,” says Madara. “If the levels are too high, you may be entering high-pressure conditions. Therefore, proper charge maintenance helps make sure you have the design capacity and operating efficiency to function smoothly.”
Ready to protect your data center? Contact us today to walk through your options for Thermal Preventive Maintenance, Commercial HVAC Services, Performance Optimization Services, and more.
Schedule a Consultation
What’s the bottom line? For guaranteed success in your data center, it’s essential to have up-to-date equipment and preventative maintenance strategies.
Preventive maintenance is often ignored and considered too expensive to implement. In reality, it is an incredibly valuable investment, and it’s measurable, too. It can help avoid equipment failure, alleviate repair and replacement costs, and increase safety for your staff. It should never be treated as an unnecessary investment.
Rain, shine, or anything in between – we’re here for you and are ready to tackle all of your data center needs, from heating, to cooling, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, racks and containment, and beyond –you can count on us to be there every step of the way.
To learn more about our services and how they can benefit your facility, please contact us today!