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At the recent 2014 AHR Expo in New York, Schneider Electric was showing off three new cooling products and I caught up with Kevin Dunlap, the company’s Product Management for Cooling, to get a quick update on them as well as other issues on the minds of show attendees.
In terms of issues, Dunlap cited one big customer concern: how to make the most of their energy. “Any watt that they’re using at a loss or to drive their air conditioning system is a watt they can’t use to drive their IT in the data center, so trying to make those systems most efficient is probably the biggest thing we’ve heard,” he says.
Each of the products Schneider Electric was showing at the event gets at energy efficiency in some fashion.
First up is InRow RC 300mm, an in-row cooling product that comes in a couple of different versions. One version works with higher water temperatures that many customers are using today to try to save energy. There’s also a new version of the low-temperature model, Dunlap says.
Next up is a new EcoAisle containment system, which now works for either cold aisle or hot aisle containment. “We’ve had a hot aisle containment system for years but we haven’t had a cold aisle containment system for retrofitting existing data centers,” he says. “It works with third party racks, multiple heights and varying row depths in the data center, so it’s a lot more flexible solution than what we’ve had in the past.”
The final new product is the EcoAisle Active Flow Control (AFC) air flow controller. Many customers do some sort of containment but do not control the fans on the cooling system such that they’re coordinated with what’s happening in and around the containment system.
“We’ve got an air flow controller that looks at how much air you’re moving inside and outside that aisle, whether it’s cold or hot, and tells the cooling system where to run their fans to make sure it’s only moving the air that it needs to,” Dunlap says. “So it’s saving energy when it doesn’t have to be moving more or less air than what you need.”
Indeed, AFC saves quite a bit of energy, as much as 30% as compared to a traditional system, depending on how efficient it was to begin with, he says.
Check out the video above to see the entire interview with Dunlap, and get some tips on some online tools that can help you select products that are just the right fit for your application.