Distributed Pumping as a Solution for Cooling Data Centres

Explore how Distributed Pumping serves as a solution to meet the complex cooling demands of data centres.

In this module, we’ll explore how Distributed Pumping serves as a solution to meet the complex cooling demands of data centres while effectively overcoming the challenges and issues frequently faced in their operations. First, let’s look at the typical pains of a conventional data centre system.

Identifying the Critical Index Circuit: The index circuit is the circuit with the biggest pressure drop. As data centres heavily rely on efficient cooling, pinpointing potential challenges within the system is vital for optimising overall efficiency. In conventional data centre systems, particularly in complex designs, identifying the critical index circuit can be challenging. This is because many factors can affect it, including the presence of extra valves, bent pipes, or coils with larger pressure drops than anticipated. This complexity can lead to difficulties in troubleshooting and optimising the system for efficient operation.

Valve selection: Choosing the right valves and ensuring they possess good valve authority can be a tedious and time-consuming process. It requires careful consideration of factors, such as flow rates, pressure drops, and compatibility with the overall system design. If a valve lacks sufficient control authority, it may result in incorrect flow control, potentially compromising the data centre’s efficiency.
Commissioning process: Proper commissioning is crucial for achieving the desired operational efficiency in conventional data centre systems. It is a time-consuming and complex process involving the calibration of sensors, tuning of controllers, and comprehensive system testing. Without thorough commissioning, the system may not function optimally, leading to potential operational challenges and reduced efficiency in the data centre.

System flexibility: Conventional data centre systems are less flexible when it comes to accommodating future expansions or the addition of new equipment. Introducing new components can have a domino effect on the entire system, potentially requiring significant adjustments, redesign, or even rendering some existing components outdated. This lack of adaptability means that data centres can experience increased costs and complications during system upgrades.
Distributed Pumping represents a notable advancement in data centre technology by tackling each of these issues. Its decoupled design reduces the need to determine the critical index circuit in data centre cooling systems. By minimising connections between circuits, this innovative approach enables efficient system operation without a heavy reliance on identifying a specific critical index circuit. The result is heightened flexibility and simplified management of complex data centre cooling systems.

Valve selection becomes a streamlined and efficient process as the system replaces conventional valves with smart modulating pumps. Throttling a valve in a conventional system generates back pressure, contributing to higher Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). The removal of the valves reduces the pressure required in the system, reducing the energy requirement and the PUE, thus increasing the efficiency of the data centre. Replacing valves with modulating pumps also acts as a positive solution for the time-consuming and complex commission process.

The extensive calibration and tuning are removed as the system can automatically adjust and optimise the temperature control based on real-time conditions.

The pumps can balance the primary and secondary circuits, helping to optimise energy usage and contributing to a better-balanced and controlled Delta T. This results in an automated and more efficient setup.

The modular design of Distributed Pumping enables the system to become more flexible as new equipment can seamlessly integrate into the existing system without causing disruptions to existing components. This allows for the data centre infrastructure to become more adaptable, scalable, and easy to manage.
Distributed Pumping’s versatility is further demonstrated by its adaptability to both variable primary circuits and constant primary/variable secondary circuits. This ensures that data centres can confidently implement Distributed Pumping for optimal performance, regardless of the specific circuit configuration in use.
Distributed Pumping is a paradigm shift towards decentralised pumping, based on two fundamentals that change the way the system works: Removing unnecessary modulating valves where possible. And balancing the flow between the primary side and the secondary load side for best possible flow control. This approach to cooling addresses the challenges of conventional systems, optimises the cooling infrastructure in data centres, and positions data centres for enhanced efficiency, flexibility, and future adaptability.

Course overview

Modules: 6
Completion time
Completion time: 35 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Intermediate