Under-Floor Cabling Could be Causing Energy Loss in Your Data Center

Posted on

Many data centers in offices and commercial buildings feature raised floors that facilitate the cooling of data center equipment. However, in addition to allowing cold air into the data center, the space underneath the floor is usually used to run cabling. While this technique may help in tucking the cables away and out of sight, it could be reducing the energy efficiency of the cooling system. Read on to find out the ways in which your under-floor cabling could be causing energy loss in the data center and measures you can take to correct this problem.

Limited air circulation

As businesses strive to grow, it is imperative to upgrade the network to accommodate their changing needs. Part of the network upgrade involves the installation of new network and power cabling. Often, businesses do not remove the old, unused cables to create space for new ones as they could end up creating network disruptions. Rather, they add the new cables to the clutter that's underneath the floor.

The clutter underneath the floor prevents air circulation in the data center, and this means that equipment may begin to overheat or deteriorate in performance. Eventually, you may be forced to increase air conditioning in the data center to facilitate cooling, and this will end up increasing your energy costs.

Cold air leakage

Data centers comprise of cold aisle containment systems that create a uniform and predetermined air flow. Also, there are computer room air handler (CRAH) systems that facilitate the removal of heat. These systems facilitate cooling and prevent the creation of hot spots in the data center. When installing cables underneath your data center floor, you will be required to create cutouts to feed the cables into the network equipment. Often, the cutouts leave open spaces on the floor after the cables have been installed, and these spaces can interrupt the predetermined flow of air in the data center.

When the air flow is interrupted, the cold air may end up mixing with the hot air, reducing the capacity of the CRAH due to reduced temperatures of the hot air. The reduced capacity may lead to the creation of hotspots within the data center, and this could affect the performance of equipment. To prevent this problem, you may be forced to install more CRAH systems, and this translates into increased energy consumption.

How to prevent energy loss

The best way to prevent energy loss in your data center is by providing for overhead cabling systems such as multi-level cable tray systems. Not only with this create a neater configuration for your cables, but it will also prevent air blockage, and leakage that's caused by the installation of cables underneath raised floors.

Under-floor cabling can significantly increase the annual energy costs in your business. Talk to your cabling contractor about designing an overhead cabling system to prevent energy loss in your data center.