Schneider launches Ecoflair solution to reduce datacentre cooling costs

New, prefab, modular components make installation and maintenance much easier

Schneider Electric has taken the wraps off a new datacentre cooling solution that is modular and can be applied in a variety of environments. 

The solution, dubbed Ecoflair Indirect Air Economizer, will reduce CAPEX and cooling costs, as well as making it easier for datacentre managers to maintain. It's available in 250kw and 500kw formations and its modular nature makes it much easier to install, the company said. 

Use of a proprietary polymer heat-exchanger has enabled Schneider to provide something that is incredibly efficient and suited to the datacentre cooling needs of a wide range of scenarios. 

"Air economisation is not new for us and I think we have led the way. We have been participating in the air economisation market for some time and we've learned a lot," John Niemann, director of product management for Schneider Electroc's global cooling business, told IT Pro, during a recent visit to the firm's technology innovation centre in the US.   

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"The UK is an ideal climate for this type of technology. But it's not just a tech that is only used in cold climates - we've talked to customers in Singapore, etc. Customers are using this because of the cost efficiency... We have also made the heat exchange bundle modular so each part can be removed to be repaired." 

When compared with legacy cooling approaches, Ecoflair offers a cost reduction of more than 60%. The energy efficiencies gained and costs saved mean more focus can be placed on the power the IT assets in the datacentre require and frees up even more space. 

"Its tubular design prevents fouling that commonly happens with plate style heat exchangers. This minimises maintenance and impact to performance over the life of the heat exchanger. In addition, the the polymer is corrosion-proof compared to other designs that use coated aluminium which corrodes when wet or exposed to the outdoor elements," Niemann added. 

Schneider claims the new cooling system is suited to colocation operations that are rated between 1 and 5MW (for the 250kw modules) and large, hyper-scale or cloud datacentres that are rated up to 40MV (for the 500kw modules). To add context to that rationale, Schneider said a 1MW, London-based datcentre using a legacy chilled water system of cooling would have a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.14, but this PUE rating changes to 1.039 should an Ecoflair solution be in place. The knock-on impact of that would be reduced carbon emissions and annual financial savings of 88,000. 

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