Alfa Laval launch Low Speed Ventilation

WORLD – Alfa Laval have launched their latest cooling concept for server rooms for data centres called Low Speed Ventilation (LSV). The company first unveiled their LSV technology in the Netherlands, where it is already operating successfully in server halls, and has now made the products available in the Nordic countries before launching them on the global market.

The millions of servers currently in use in data centres throughout the world generate huge amounts of heat while handling and processing data. Conventional server cooling technology, as has been used heretofore, involves high air speeds of 8-9 metres per second. The drawback of the classic technology is that moving air at this speed requires a lot of energy and can trigger the Venturi-effect, which can in turn lead to air pressure variations and the “hot spots” that can cause servers to overheat.

Designers at Alfa Laval have now introduced their patented Low Speed Ventilation cooling concept which, they claim, will deliver air at a considerably lower speed: 1.5 to 1.8 metres per second. Reducing air speed and delivering an optimum airflow should eliminate the Venturi effect, and consequently minimize pressure differences and therefore help prevent problems such as ‘hot spots’. As LSV is a normal pressure technology, data centre operators do not need to control air pressure but only air availability, rendering it much easier to achieve optimum conditions in the server room.

The downside to this new technology is that LSV coolers are larger than conventional coolers as significant amounts of air are required for Low Speed Ventilation,. Alfa Laval therefore state that their Arctigo LSV air coolers are specially designed with a large cross-sectional area for this reason. The coolers, which should be located outside the server room, ought to ensure that the servers are supplied with sufficient temperature-controlled air at all times, while consuming considerably less power than conventional server cooling solutions.

“Low Speed Ventilation is a unique technology that challenges current solutions for cooling server halls,” declared the Marketing Manager of Data Center Cooling, Mats Carselid.

Mr Carselid concluded by saying “We live in an age obsessed with speed, so it may feel counter-intuitive that you can improve performance by slowing something down. However, our new concept shows that if you reduce air velocity, you can avoid problems often encountered in conventional server cooling and gain a lot of benefits such as increased energy efficiency and reduced energy costs. Just the fact that Low Speed Ventilation technology allows server halls to operate under normal air pressure makes it a true innovation.”