DuctSox and Involta Collaborate to Design Energy-Efficient Cooling for Data Centers

B-InvoltaDuctSox has collaborated with Involta, a provider of highly reliable data centers, cloud services and IT outsourcing, for the purpose of improving cooling energy efficiency and efficacy for data center operations.

The research and development (R&D) collaboration has recently-developed DataSox, the HVAC and data center industries’ first customizable air displacement ventilation dispersion (ductwork) system with onsite directional-adjustability, and plans additional HVAC innovations.

“Involta has developed more than 256,000 square-feet of colocation data centers operating in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa and Idaho. Involta approached Ductsox R&D engineers to improve its equipment rack cooling air distribution at new and existing locations. The collaborative development of DataSox’s design resulted in reduced turbulence and sound levels, better efficiency measured in power usage effectiveness (PUE), which generated a significant difference in the bottom line cost of operations,” said to Jeff Thorsteinson, chief security officer, Involta.

Involta first used a more conventional porous fabric diffuser system as a lower velocity air distribution alternative to rectangular metal ductwork and drafty linear diffusers. The fabric diffuser, which is commonly used in many commercial open architectural ceilings applications, offered an improved operational margin, more effective cooling, and better energy efficiency than metal. The joint conversations between the two companies then lead to DuctSox’s DataSox development. DataSox is a round, overhead and porous/diffuse fabric HVAC diffuser system that’s specifically designed to distribute a large volume of air down into data center cold aisles, but with low 400-FPM velocities. The controlled velocities don’t upset critical equipment air intake and greatly reduce the volume of entrained air from hotter regions. It also offers the optional flexibility of directional spot cooling capabilities with adjustable nozzles for high density IT equipment racks.

Involta’s first retrofit conversions from metal duct to DataSox was at its Marion, Iowa, facilities. The deployment which also included mechanical modifications to existing cold aisle containment equipment, reduced airflow by 40 percent, but maintained the same cooling temperatures due to better air distribution, according to Thorsteinson, who is committed to a steady rollout of DataSox in Involta’s newly-built data centers as well as remaining retrofits. Reduced turbulence allows the rack equipment’s fans to draw in cooling more easily. Combined with some server and storage device change outs, the Marion facility retrofit reduced electric utility costs by 80,000-kWhr/month.

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