Keeping It Cool On the Edge

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Edge Data Centers may be a hot industry in the expanding 5G world, but keeping the delivery components cool presents both challenges and options. Data Center Frontier collected the thoughts of VP Jack Kolar, MC/MUS Sales, and Senior Project Application Engineer, Abhishek Banerjee, from TAS Energy. They identified what they considered to be the best ways to keep Edge Data facilities cool. 

  • DX (direct expansion) cooling systems: Currently the most common approach to cooling, DX can be as simple as keeping an air conditioner running. A DX approach is relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain, and does not require the use of water. On the down side, DX was cited as the least efficient cooling system, and one with limited flexibility for a growing operation. 
  • Chilled Water Distribution System: As the name makes clear, this method relies on circulating cold water. One key advantage of this delivery system is its ability to quickly adapt to the needs and size of the equipment it is cooling. A refrigerant can also be employed in place of cold water, according to Data Center Frontier.
  • No-cost Cooling: Constructing an Edge Data Center in an area that makes use of its environment is an efficient way to make use of available resources. Building in an especially cold or dry location can reduce or eliminate the need to devise artificial cooling mechanisms. This choice may work better for a smaller, more easily maintained facility. Air filtration systems must be monitored and maintained to function optimally. 
  • High Density Liquid Cooling: Similar to cold water or refrigerant based cooling systems, ultra-high-density computing solutions circulate the coolant, as strictly monitored by a computer. Technologies like “direct-to-chip” cooling maximize efficiency and are easily programmable and adaptable.   

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