Schneider Electric: EcoBreeze Air Economizer | Schneider Electric

“This technology is a great solution to managing data center cooling load. The modular design is a good option to have as data center loads could change and also the ability to switch to the most efficient method of cooling is ideal.”

--Energy Manager Today Awards judge

schneider electric ecobreeze image reducedWith the increased dependence on technology comes an increased demand on our data centers, resulting in unprecedented cooling challenges for data center operators. These operators are also faced with rising energy costs. With an astounding 30 to 40 percent of the energy consumed in a data center being tied to the cooling system, that is the first place data center operators look to reduce their consumption. Schneider Electric says it has created a more sustainable approach to cooling with the EcoBreeze. These systems deliver free cooling using economization, meaning that the unit uses cooler air from outside the data center to cool the hot air inside the data center. The EcoBreeze systems are also modular, meaning they allow the users to pay as they grow, creating a right-sized solutions for data center operators.

Unlike other economizer products, the EcoBreeze provides two separate methods of economization. First is air to air economization. This method works by taking two air streams, the outdoor air that is cooler, and the indoor air that is heated by the IT equipment, and performs a heat exchange between the two without ever mixing them. The second method is indirect evaporative cooling. This method is used when the outdoor dry bulb temperature is not cool enough to lower the indoor temperature to the desired setpoint. In this method, the EcoBreeze leverages the wet bulb temperature by coating the heat exchanger with a film of water that cools that air more effectively than relying on the dry bulb alone. Finally, if the ambient temperature is too hot or humid, the unit has proportional direct expansion refrigerant circuit that will automatically activate to make sure the desired setpoint is always achieved.

Schneider Electric’s EcoBreeze units have the ability to automatically switch between the different economizer options depending on the variability of outside ambient air temperature. This provides the most energy efficient cooling method possible by optimizing the total number of hours available for full or partial free cooling. By utilizing this sustainable approach, co-location data center facilities like Cogeco and DataPro have been successful in not only minimizing their environmental impact, but in turn, achieving a reduction of 20-30% on their energy bills.

The EcoBreeze not only provides multiple types of air economization, but through the use of intelligent controls, the system is able to monitor the ambient temperature and switch between these modes as necessary. This level of control ensures that the desired setpoint is always met in the most efficient way possible. In addition, the modular design of the EcoBreeze allows the unit to easily adapt to the future cooling needs of the data center, allowing the customers to pay as they grow. For example, a 40 foot frame can hold up to 8 modules and a 20 foot frame can hold up to 4 modules. Each module has a nominal cooling capacity of 50kW, making the EcoBreeze scalable from 50-400kW of cooling capacity.