More and more data centers are being commissioned. However older, aging data centers are increasingly requiring routine maintenance to sustain process operations. So what do you do when your data center’s vital cooling system breaks down and you need to make repairs?

Many data center operators are turning to temporary supplemental cooling solutions.

Temporary cooling equipment providers can get the right equipment to meet your needs very quickly. Portable chillers, cooling towers, and air conditioners are an ideal way to cool equipment and stabilize processes.

For example, the housing center for a nationally recognized credit card processor needed to perform long overdue maintenance on the cooling water tower that supported the building’s data center cooling system.

The system consisted of six 100-ton Liebert room air conditioners that cooled air to and from the servers that processed credit card transactions from around the nation. These units were then cooled with a recirculating glycol solution that released its heat to a series of air condensers located on the 13th floor, plus, a cooling tower located at ground level. The project started as a normal maintenance repair project, but unexpected problems with the building equipment necessitated installation of the rental equipment on an accelerated basis.

Engineers from Aggreko determined the heat duty being lost from the cooling tower repair could be replaced by a system that circulated water through an exchanger that was added to the circuit as shown in Figure 1. The engineers installed a plate and frame heat exchanger at ground level with 700 square feet surface area. They also installed a 500-ton cooling tower with a 2,500 gallon per minute (gpm) cooling tower circulating pump to remove the heat picked up by the exchanger.

Complications arose due to a variety of factors caused by the building’s current glycol circulating pump, which was not adequate. Aggreko supplied an additional glycol booster circulating pump of 750 gpm so the total pump capacity could generate enough head pressure to circulate the glycol solution to the dry coolers located on the 13th floor.

As the installation proceeded it became obvious that one exchanger was not enough and that a second plate and frame exchanger would be needed. Thus, another exchanger was installed in parallel with the current exchanger.

The building data center continued in operation during maintenance of the cooling tower and allowed them to continue processing credit card transactions as normal. Building engineers were pleased with the performance of the system and had indicated that the closed loop cooling water was 5oF cooler than that achieved by the first exchanger. They were also impressed with the fact that the condenser head pressure on the datacenter chillers was significantly reduced such that they were able to turn off one of the six room air conditioners.