Custom air-handler systems manufacturer Nortek Air Solutions is partnering with Facebook to deploy a cooling innovation that is expected to improve the energy and water efficiency of data centers. Nortek will install its patented StatePoint Technology in an indirect liquid-to-air system for Facebook.
The data center market is expected to continue to grow as cell phones, artificial intelligence and other smart devices grow worldwide, which will drive demand for cooling systems. Chillers and condensing cooling systems use a lot of energy and natural resources.
“It’s time for data centers to highly consider alternative technologies that will protect our environment,” said Buddy Doll, president of Nortek Air Solutions. “This is why we are thrilled to work with Facebook, [which] has been a leader in developing innovative data centers around the world.”
StatePoint is designed to reduce water consumption 20 percent in hot and humid climates and 90 percent in cooler climates when compared to other indirect cooling systems. The technology provides Power Usage Effectiveness equal to or better than direct evaporative cooling.
The system uses a liquid-to-air exchanger where water evaporates through a membrane separation layer to cool the data center. The liquid-to-air membrane exchanger prevents cross-contamination between the water and air streams. With the addition of a pre-cooling coil, the system can maintain required cooling water and temperatures in humid climates without supplemental condenser based cooling.
It can be connected to a variety of systems including fan coil walls, air handlers, in-row coolers, rear door heat exchangers and chip cooling.
Since 2015, Nortek Air Solutions has worked closely with the Facebook engineering team to develop a cooling solution to resolve the sustainability issues that face large data centers.
“Most cooling technology used in data centers was developed for buildings with human occupancy,” Doll noted. “We are focused on environmentally responsible, mission-critical cooling solutions.”
The installation of the new system at Facebook is expected to occur soon.