Rittal LCP DX – cooling for small and medium-sized IT installations
Keeping small server rooms cool. Even in data centres comprising just a small room with a server rack, the large amount of heat generated by today’s computer hardware can still cause a dangerous build-up of heat. IT climate control expert Rittal offers solutions for precisely this scenario, in the form of its flexible and easy-to-install IT cooling system LCP DX.
No business, however small, can do without IT infrastructure today. Even if it’s only a router, a server, or a shared stored space and a few switches, there will always be at least one corner of the office packed with IT equipment. And these makeshift server rooms are more common than you might think.
The cubby-hole server room
The “data centre” of a small business cannot compare to the rooms that a large enterprise reserves for its servers and storage systems. The IT resources of an SME usually take up no more than a single rack in a storeroom or a corner of a warehouse. The need for cooling is often neglected or forgotten entirely. If the machines are housed in a 19” rack, the air for cooling is usually only circulated by fans in the roof panel or mounted on the rack. And if the equipment is not in a rack but simply on the floor, there is either no air conditioning at all or just a single, usually inefficient system. Rittal developed its new, flexible cooling solution, Liquid Cooling Package Direct Expansion (LCP DX), for precisely these scenarios. The split cooling system comprises LCP DX as the inside unit (evaporator) and an outside condenser. This design ensures that the heat generated by the IT equipment is released outside, where the condenser is located, and not in the room where the rack is kept. LCP DX has a footprint of only 0.35 square metres, and a cooling capacity of up to 12 kW. Two versions are available: Rack DX and Inline DX. Both are perfect for cooling just a few components in a small room, where it would be uneconomical to employ a cold water system. The Rack DX model blows cold air into a Rittal TS IT Rack from the right or the left, while the Inline DX version blows it forwards into a cold aisle.
Rack-based and row-based cooling
Both options are ideal for applications in which IT equipment is concentrated on one level and requires simple yet reliable and energy-efficient cooling. Each version has its own advantages for specific environments. Rack DX is perfect for IT systems housed in 19” racks. Mounted on the side of the enclosure, it extracts the hot air from the sides at the back of the servers. Once the air has been cooled using a high-performance compact impeller, LCP Rack DX blows the air from the sides across the front of the IT systems. This prevents the equipment in the server rack from overheating. It is also possible to cool two racks simultaneously, as LCP Rack DX can extract and expel the air from two sides at once. However, the combined heat loss of the two racks must not exceed the cooling system’s total capacity.
Installed and on-stream in a day
LCP Inline DX comes into its own in rooms containing additional equipment such as printers, photocopiers and telephone systems that also require cooling. It is a row-based product designed for applications in the low capacity range. Racks containing IT equipment typically have perforated front and back doors, expel hot air from the back, and draw cold air in at the front. LCP Inline DX, by contrast, extracts hot air from the back, and releases cold air into the room at the front. As a result, other IT equipment in the room besides what is on the rack benefits from the system. The condenser for LCP DX is an external unit with two integrated fans. Depending on the environmental constraints, the condenser can be mounted either on a wall or on the roof of the building. It does not require any active control components, which simplifies installation. The speed of the fans is determined by the pressure of the refrigerant. This eliminates the need for an electrical connection between the units inside and outside the building; all that is required is a single-phase power supply to the condenser’s location. This also makes for straightforward installation: in most cases, the split solution comprising LCP DX and condenser can be installed and switched on in a single day.
Designed for efficiency in every respect
LCP DX is an energy-efficient alternative to the air conditioners often used by small businesses to cool their IT equipment. The purpose of conventional air conditioners, generally fitted to the ceiling or the wall, is to keep people cool, not machines. They have several disadvantages in comparison to cooling solutions designed for IT hardware, such as a very low airflow rate. That makes sense when keeping people cool, as strong drafts of air would make them feel uncomfortable and prone to catch colds. For cooling IT equipment, however, a low airflow rate is usually insufficient. Moreover, systems designed for people simply blow air into a room at random, instead of routing it to where it’s needed. IT equipment requires a front-to-back airflow for maximum efficiency. In addition, conventional air conditioners are not equipped with monitors and alert systems, neither are they designed for continuous operation.
Designed for efficiency and high availability
In contrast, LCP DX was designed with the key requirements of data centres in mind – efficiency und availability. It can be operated round-the-clock without any problem. Maintenance work can even be performed on the four fan modules without switching the system off. And LCP DX’s capacity of up to 12 kW is more than enough to extract heat from the most critical regions: the air intake vents of the servers, switches and storage systems. The airflow is guided directly towards the devices, reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Moreover, the IT equipment benefits from even temperature distribution across the full height of the rack. Users can select the precise temperature they require via LCP DX’s display, and the system then controls the server inlet air temperature accordingly. In addition, all of the cooling system’s active components are located inside the unit, which means it can be deployed in temperatures of between -20 and +45 degrees Celsius.
One common thread: energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is the common thread that unites all the features of LCP DX. The energy-saving fans with electronically commutated (EC), or brushless, motors, for example, are considerably more efficient than conventional devices. Moreover, the optimised airflow within the unit creates minimum air resistance, reducing the fans’ workload. An infinitely variable control adjusts the compressor’s output superbly when full capacity is not needed. As a result, the output exactly matches the amount of cooling required by the IT devices. In addition, installing the IT rack and LCP DX in an environment with cold aisle containment increases efficiency.
Immediately alerted to a problem
SMEs often do not have staff specifically responsible for climate control. But they still need to identify and remedy faults without delay. In addition to its display, LCP DX has two ways of indicating defects. The general alarm system indicates that there is an error by means of a signal light or a buzzer. The customer can then contact a technician to quickly resolve the problem. If more information on the current status of operations is needed, an SNMP (simple network management protocol) card can optionally be installed. This is the ideal choice if customers wish to carry out repairs themselves or take advantage of an external partner to maintain the IT equipment. Because rapid response depends on the ability to pinpoint the exact problem. The SNMP card is integrated into the customer’s network, and can transfer information on the current status operations and more via SNMP to a management platform. The SNMP card also enables the LCP DX to be controlled via the centralised building control system where required. Additionally, the LCP DX can be integrated into Rittal’s RiZone management system to monitor operating parameters and control the system. What’s more, maintenance can be performed on the LCP DX without accessing the devices in the rack – a key benefit for IT systems containing personal or other confidential data.
Plenty of options
Running an enterprise without IT is no longer possible – yet many smaller businesses neglect to cool their IT infrastructure because they lack alternatives. It might not be worthwhile implementing a centralised climate control system for one, two or three racks, but simply relying on the fans in the servers is extremely risky given the amount of heat produced by today’s hardware. Now, thanks to a compact and largely autonomous climate control system, designed for perfect compatibility with Rittal’s 482.6 mm (19”) rack system, enterprises can cool their IT equipment in a highly professional way with little effort.
Contact Information :
Tel.: 080 – 3372 0700
Rittal India Pvt. Ltd.
23 & 24 KIADB Industrial Area
Bangalore – 561 203