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Thermal Storage System Provides Emergency Data Center Cooling

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Thermal Storage System Provides Emergency Data Center Cooling

White Paper

Intel IT implemented a low-cost thermal storage system that maintained cooling at a high-density data center during an electrical power outage. This enabled the data center to survive the outage without costly damage to servers. The system is based on auxiliary thermal storage tanks that feed water into the chilled water supply lines if the main chillers stop working due to an outage. It prevented the servers, which were still running on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), from overheating by maintaining a chilled water supply to the air handler cooling coils.

Executive Summary

Intel IT implemented an emergency thermal storage system that enabled a high-density data center to survive a power outage without costly thermal damage to servers. The system, based on auxiliary chilled water storage tanks, kept the data center cool when an outage caused the chillers to shut down.

In data centers with high power and heat densities, a power sag or outage can cause rapid temperature increases. This is because cooling systems temporarily shut down, while servers keep producing heat because they are on an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

To overcome this problem, Intel IT implemented a thermal storage system at a large regional hub data center. The system, based on two 24,000-gallon tanks containing chilled water at 42° Fahrenheit (F), operated successfully during an outage in late 2006 that lasted several hours.

Read the full Thermal Storage White Paper.