We’ve had many blog posts on this site about modular data center architectures, economizer modes of cooling, and the various services that Schneider Electric provides to help companies build data centers that are just right for them now and into the future. But a video about a Schneider customer, Cogeco Data Services, does a nice job demonstrating how the various components come together in practice to provide tangible benefits. Cogeco is a Canadian provider of colocation and managed data center services based in Barrie, Ontario. It was the first company in North America to install the Schneider Electric EcoBreeze Air Economizer, a modular, indirect air cooling system. We’ve touched on EcoBreeze before on this site, including in this video I shot at the AHR 2014 event early this year in New York, where Schneider Electric announced a 30% to 35% priced reduction for the product. The accompanying blog post explains how EcoBreeze works:
EcoBreeze has two economizer cooling modes, enabling it to run the majority of time in one of them – at least in many geographic areas… The primary mode is evaporative cooling, where a mist of water is sprayed over an air-to-air heat exchanger. When it’s too cold for that, because the water would freeze, the unit switches to straight air-to-air cooling, meaning it just uses outside cold air. Should it get too hot for either mode, the unit has a compressor backup system that can provide traditional cooling.
Cogeco, being based in Canada, can take advantage of the cooler, drier conditions and often use the air-to-air cooling mode. In the video, Joe Capes, Business Development Director, Cooling, for Schneider Electric, explains:
“EcoBreeze can often run in a dry mode of economizer which uses absolutely no water. So in addition to the energy savings, the water savings can be a real advantage to Cogeco.”
Schneider Electric experts also worked hand in hand with Cogeco’s engineering team to devise a solution that would fit within the space constraints of the data center site: it placed the EcoBreeze units on the roof of the building. It makes perfect sense, as the units are made to be placed outside anyway and using the roof obviously saves lots of space. Cogeco is also taking advantage of the “pay as you grow” capability that modular architectures offer, deploying only the cooling it needs initially but knowing that it can add more as requirements dictate. To start, it installed three 12-meter fully populated EcoBreeze frames. So far, so good, judging from the comments of Jeff Edward, VP of Engineering & Operations at Cogeco. “I can honestly say I’m very happy with the Schneider experience,” he says in the video. “We worked very closely with all the various teams at Schneider to put in a real quality product.”