The impact of data centre innovation on fire protection systems

By Justin Morris, national engineering manager, Wormald

The growing need for data and information storage and the associated rise in power consumption has lead to innovative developments in the world of data centres.

Historically, data centres were cooled using perimeter-based air handling units that cooled the entire data centre space.  The mixing of cold supply air and hot return air meant data centres needed to be kept at a colder temperature than required, resulting in excessive power usage and cost.

Today many data centres use containment systems to minimise the power consumed by their air conditioning system. Containment systems essentially ‘funnel’ the cold supply air (cold aisle containment) or warm return air (hot aisle containment) through the data centre. This prevents mixing the two air streams and results in a more efficient cooling system and reduced energy consumption.

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