Magazine Button
Excool: Driving forward sustainable solutions

Excool: Driving forward sustainable solutions

Industry ExpertInsightsPower & CoolingTop Stories

As organisations strive to optimise their data centre cooling systems, making the right solution choice is crucial. Jon Pettitt, CEO of Excool, sheds light on the distinctiveness of Excool’s approach amid competitors, highlighting its reliable and future-oriented technologies.

What problems and challenges occur with traditional cooling systems for data centres?

In the past decade, the expansion of data centres has led to heightened power demands. Almost every watt that powers servers consume gets turned into heat that needs to be managed. With the increased size of data centres comes the challenge of finding cooling solutions that are efficient in space, sustainability and economics.

What systems are on the market that solve these issues?

Chilled water CRAC/CRAH systems have been the traditional cooling method. Despite improvements in chiller technology efficiency, these systems still consume substantial energy compared to newer cooling technologies. The market offers a range of solutions, from free cooling to future-proof options like Excool Zero and Excool Flex Solutions. This progression signifies an industry-wide move towards innovation.

What types of data centres would you encourage to invest in a year-round full or partial free cooling system?

Different dynamics exist within the data centre sector: colocation, enterprise-style and hyper-scalers. Hyper-scalers tend to adopt wider temperature brackets due to equipment homogeneity, resulting in full year-round or partial free cooling. Colocation providers, however, prioritise maintaining specific supplier temperatures to meet SLAs, often requiring a mix of free cooling and mechanical cooling.

What is indirect evaporative cooling? How can it help data centres economise in terms of water and energy usage within their cooling systems?

Indirect evaporative cooling maintains a physical barrier between external and internal air. This approach safeguards the white space from external contaminants. The technology employs high-pressure adiabatic sprays that cool air through evaporation. This method evolved from historical practices and allows for efficient cooling without introducing external air.

How is the Excool Advanced Data Centre Cooling system unique in its approach?

Excool’s innovation lies in its water-efficient design. Unlike traditional IDEC systems relying on excessive water usage, Excool combines small amounts of water with light mechanical cooling. This approach, efficient in all data centres but especially in 5MW+ data centres, substantially reduces water and power consumption. Excool’s Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) has seen a dramatic 90% drop, resulting in a more sustainable cooling solution. In addition, the Excool Zero has built-in water storage for 24 hours and water treatment.

Why does Excool’s Zero Unit make a reliable and efficient choice?

Excool’s Zero Unit design simplifies maintenance, with accessibility at the forefront. Maintenance requires only semi-skilled engineers, making it a reliable and efficient choice. The Zero Unit is envisioned as a chiller alternative, fostering confidence in its performance and reliability, a concept distinct within the industry. We want people to start thinking about our solution in the way that they think about a chiller solution. We joke that no one ever got fired for specifying a chiller on a data centre because you know it will work. We feel the same about our unit. We want people to be excited to use the Excool Zero because it’s simple, one box, modular and almost plug-and-play and build-as-you-grow. This approach of considering maintenance in the design stages differs from others in the industry.

What direction do we see data centre cooling heading towards in the future?

While the industry anticipates advancements in liquid cooling, we cannot stress enough the cautious nature of data centres due to their role in global connectivity. The integration of ASHRAE’s temperature guidelines in expanding recommended supply air temperature and humidity range envelope is essential for the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Liquid cooling and more efficient mechanical cooling solutions are on the horizon, with a focus on sustainable and environmentally-friendly options.

How will Sustainable Cooling shape the future?

I envision a shift in data centre locations towards cooler climates, such as the Nordics. This move aligns with the industry’s pursuit of sustainable practices while efficiently managing the growing energy demands of the digital era. In the realm of data centre cooling, Excool stands as a beacon of innovation, committed to reshaping the industry’s landscape and driving forward sustainable solutions that address the challenges of today and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent Data Centres

View Magazine Archive