The Importance of Piping Uptime in Data Center Cooling
When designing a data center, uptime is mission critical in choosing your design criteria. For many companies, the data center – that dedicated location for the operation and monitoring of information technology and computing assets – can be as valuable to operations as any piece of equipment. For some companies, the mission is so critical to maintaining business continuity that other highly expert companies operate the data center for them to ensure that stringent uptime requirements are met.
For some time, server density has increased astronomically, meaning that data centers and the associated equipment have a combined thermal load that may consume more energy than all of the computers they support combined. Cooling this load is an operation unto itself. In a data center, the way heat is removed from a server and rejected to a heat sink outside of the center is highly specialized, and the consequences of an outage to that cooling system can be catastrophic.
That means availability of the cooling system and the reliability of its component piping is also mission critical. In essence, data center cooling takes on the complexion of an industrial process more than it does a commercial one; this calls for a piping system designed for industrial applications.
Data center cooling is not for people; its purpose is to maintain environmental conditions suitable for the efficient and reliable operation of the facility to whatever level of availability is needed or in some cases has been promised. Problems with damaged equipment, unplanned outages and extended downtime are to be avoided at all costs. Because of this, data centers should be cooling 24/7 and operate as efficiently as possible.
Determining the Right Piping Material for the Duty
Because both chilled water and other additives can flow through every data center, project owners and their design teams must pay particular attention to the mechanical and other systems that support realization of the reliability goals they have set, as described in this article by Uptime Institute.
Corzan® Industrial CPVC piping systems were designed for reliability in high-performance applications. They are engineered to be resistant to the corrosive chemicals, high temperatures and pressures found in the harshest industrial applications. Corzan CPVC’s chemical resistance properties allow for additives to be included in the circulating water to increase its heat exchange capabilities.
Used for decades in both commercial and industrial HVAC systems as well as industrial piping projects, Corzan CPVC is a versatile material for the data center wherever water and other fluids flow through the process. This includes not only the cooling water itself, but also condensate handling and wastewater treatment, reuse and discharge. Among the important attributes:
- Low thermal conductivity to ward off condensation as ambient temperature fluctuates
- Engineered to withstand mechanical and thermal stresses
- Does not corrode or scale, keeping cooling water free of impurities
- Resists biofilm formation, so is not susceptible to microbial growth
- Meets plenum and 2-hour resistance rating requirements
- Can be designed and installed in a dual-containment configuration to virtually eliminate leak risk, or with a lower cost tray-type system
Once in service, one CPVC pipe can do it all, and has a long service life compared to metals. All of this adds up to installing a piping system that delivers reliability and reduces downtime no data center can afford.