Adiabatic pre-cooling of a data center (Netherlands)

  • Year of commitment : 2019

  • Green energies : Cool

When, during the construction of the new data centers of Equinix, the municipality of Amsterdam imposes restrictions on the consumption of electricity, the decides to find a solution so that their very demanding refrigeration machines can run more efficiently.

14 PreCooll systems have been installed in 3 data centers in Amsterdam. The solution is also being developed in other countries: another Equinix data center in London has been equipped with adiabatic pre-cooling.

 

Data centers - energy-intensive infrastructures

In principle, data centers already consume a lot of electricity to run their servers. In addition, refrigeration machines, which allow servers not to overheat under any circumstances, also consume a large amount of electricity. And when electricity consumption is restricted, it automatically means that for every kilowatt of electricity going to refrigeration machines, server capacity is reduced. In order to operate data centers in the most cost-effective way, Equinix decided to find a solution to reduce the peak current and power consumption of refrigeration machines and thus increase server capacity. In addition, it was also important to find a sustainable solution within the framework of overall energy savings.

 

Tailor-made adiabatic pre-cooling for more efficient energy consumption

Together with cooling supplier Trane, Oxycom supplied adiabatic pre-cooling systems to three data centers in Amsterdam. Adding adiabatic pre-cooling reduced peak current by 14% and significantly increased server capacity.

Equinix servers are protected from overheating by introducing chilled water into the building to cool the hot air inside. This cooling is initially provided by a refrigeration machine (Jaeggi Hybrid). When this main refrigeration machine can no longer reach the desired temperature, Trane's backup cooling system activates. As it was particularly important with the high outside temperatures of recent years to reduce the peak current of the machines, Trane was tasked with finding an efficient and reliable solution for this purpose. Therefore, the firm, which does not produce adiabatic pre-cooling itself, approached Oxycom regarding the PreCooll system.

The reliability of the combination of the two systems being extremely important, an endurance test was carried out in the Parisian test laboratory of Trane, where it was exposed to extreme conditions: 34˚C with a humidity of 60% - a very unfavorable situation that has never happened in Amsterdam before. The results of the lab test exceeded expectations and thus the test proved to be successful.

Results of the tests in extreme conditions :

  Increased cooling capacity Decrease in peak current Increase in the ration E.E.R / Efficiency
Full load test 778 kW -> 872 kW (+12%) 215 kW -> 193 kW (-10%) 3.63 -> 4.51 (+24%)
Partial load test 247 kW -> 297 kW (+20%) 64 kW -> 55 kW (-13%) 3.88 -> 5.39 (+39%)

Progress Status

Delivered

Data Reliability

Self-declared

Funding Type

Private

Governance

    Equinix

    Private Company

    Equinix is one of the largest digital infrastructure companies in the world. They connect leading organizations in finance, manufacturing, mobility, transportation, government, healthcare and education in a world where the cloud reigns supreme. Today, Equinix connects more than 220 data centers in more than 60 markets on five continents, enterprises, networks, services and innovators from Mumbai to Dublin, Singapore to Chicago and Helsinki to San Jose.

    Trane Technologies brings efficient and sustainable climate innovations to the demand for industrial cooling and comfort in buildings.

Sustainable Solutions

    PreCooll system

    The PreCooll system is set up around a mechanical refrigeration machine and allows the outside air to be pre-cooled using direct evaporative cooling before it passes through the condenser. This precooling leads to an increase in the efficiency of the refrigeration machines so that the energy consumption is reduced. In hot weather, the peak current drops and the cooling capacity increases, which has also made it possible to increase the capacity of the data center server, without consuming more electricity. The PreCooll system was tailor-made and assembled for the data centers in Amsterdam. The standard PreCooll system features Oxyvap media mounted in an aluminum frame. This complete aluminum frame can be easily clicked on and removed from the system. Since the compressors of Trane refrigeration machines are located in the same cabinet as the condensers, and it is precisely these components that are likely to require maintenance, a bridge was created between the PreCooll and the condenser at the request of Trane. This allows access to the condenser and compressors at any time for maintenance purposes.

    Thanks to this solution, it is possible to achieve:

    • Up to 40% energy savings;
    • Up to 20% more cooling capacity;
    • Up to 30% reduction in peak power;
    • Up to 25°C pre-cooling.

    • Infrastructure
    • Climate adaptation
    • Low-carbon materials/ infrastructure
    • Other

Photo credit

Oxycom

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

How to reduce the energy consumption of digital technology? A central question for the city of tomorrow. This infrastructure implements a tailor-made solution offering a more efficient energy consumption for data centers.

Green Solutions Awards 2022-2023

 data
 digital transition

Author of the page

  • Fernanda Perez

    Business Developer Manager

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