Evaporative Cooling Case Studies
School Data Room Cooling

Evaporative cooling in education
Evaporative Cooling in education

It is important that we discover an educational method where people learn to learn, and go on learning from life throughout their whole lives. "

Rudolf Steiner

The Steiner Academy in Hereford has recently undertaken a multi-million pound refurbishment and extension. EcoCooling were approached along with others to provide a unique, cost effective green alternative to air conditioning for the cooling of their new 15kW data room. The consultant employed by Steiner looked at a number of different ways of cooling the area and chose EcoCooling due to both its capital and running costs.

School data room cooling at Steiner

One EcoCooler which can cover a load of up to 30kW was used to provide the 15kW of cooling needed – leaving adequate room for expansion of equipment if required in the future. The EcoCooler requires an electricity supply of only 13amp and the system is backed up by an air conditioning system which it is anticipated will never be used.

The cooler which is sited inside the building uses a window for the supply of fresh air and ducts the cool air a distance of over 15m into the data room and extracts the hot air from the servers out of the building.

Alternative Methods reviewed

Closed Loop Borehole Cooling
*
Ground source heat pumps
*
Split coil unit direct expansion refrigeration.
*
Close control unit direct expansion refrigeration system
*
Split coil unit direct expansion refrigeration system with waste heat recovery
*
Close control unit direct expansion refrigeration system with waste heat recovery

In cold periods when the area still needs cooling there is an internal damper that opens and entrains the warm air from the servers into the cool air from the cooler. Correct temperatures are maintained at all times by external and internal thermostats linked to the EcoCooling control system which control both the damper and the cooler and the back up air-conditioning system. The system also links in to the BMS system to provide complete peace of mind.

The following alternative cooling solutions were investigated by the consultant before finally deciding to use the EcoCooling solution. The EcoCooling system and a backup air conditioning system were fully installed for less than £20,000.00

TABLE 1 - Summary of Cooling Options Considered

System Cooling
Medium
Reliability and
Performance
Operational Risk (5 is high and 1 is low)

Main
Components

Cost (refer to notes 1, 2, 3 and 4 below)

Option 1

Ground Source Cooling

Primary medium is refrigerant.

Secondary medium is water.

Proven technology with good reliability. 2

Chiller
3 Boreholes
2 Pump Sets
2 Pipework Systems

£54,000

Option 2

Closed Loop Borehole Cooling

Water Not commonly used due to concerns over long term effectiveness of the borehole field 4

10 Boreholes
Dry air cooler
1 Pump Set
1 Pipework System

£76,000

Option 3

Split Coil Unit Direct Expansion Refrigeration System

Refrigerant Proven technology with good reliability 2 Indoor Unit
Outdoor Unit
Refrigerant Pipework
£26,000

Option 4

Close Control Unit Direct Expansion Refrigeration System

Refrigerant Proven technology with good reliability 1 Indoor Unit
Outdoor Unit
Refrigerant Pipework
Integral Humidifier
£42,000

Option 5

Split Coil Unit Direct Expansion Refrigerant System with Waste Heat Recovery

Refrigerant As Option 3 but with additional components which results in a greater potention for failure 2 Indoor Unit
Outdoor Unit
Refrigerant Pipework
Heat Exchanger
Pumps
Heating System
£60,000

Option 6

Close Control Unit Direct Expansion Refrigerant System with Waste Heat Recovery

Refrigerant As option 4 but with additional components which results in a greater potential for failure 2 Indoor Unit
Outdoor Unit
Refrigerant Pipework
Integral Humidifier
Heat Exchanger
Pumps
Heating System
£74,000

Note 1 - All options above allow for a backup system for compliance with TIA-942

Note 2 - All options above except 4 and 6 allow for additional humidifiers for compliance with TIA-942

Note 3 - All options above allow for an additional twin supply fan and filtration system for complance with TIA-942

Note 4 - Costs provided for all options are illustrative only based on previous experience. Costs can only be fully verified once detailed design of the preferred option is complete. However, further market testing of the various options would allow better cost certainty.

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