Having the ability to design and develop hi-tech environments means being aware of the particular problems encountered in terms of air conditioning. In data centres, for example, excessively high or low temperatures, as well as sudden temperature changes, are well-known causes of data processing anomalies, as well as possible causes of temporary or prolonged system shutdowns.

Moreover, excessively high environmental humidity may cause condensation or corrosion, while excessively low environmental humidity can cause electrostatic discharge, both of which can damage the electronic components found in data centres.

More than half the energy consumed in data centres is absorbed by air-conditioning plants, meaning that they have the biggest influence on energy costs. Regardless of the technological solution adopted, companies with one or more data centres must therefore act on this aspect in order to boost energy efficiency.

Cooling systems for data centres and, more generally, for IT and mission-critical applications, differ significantly in terms of

requirements, solutions and characteristics from normal air-conditioning systems deployed for the benefit of people. They also include a number of non-intuitive aspects, which demand highly professional design expertise.

In fact, air cooling in an area containing equipment with a high density of thermal loads also requires a detailed analysis of the air flows, since ­– in addition to ensuring the correct operation of the internal equipment and services – they also have a significant influence on the percentage of energy consumption required for ventilation, and that necessary for the operation of the cooling system itself.

Moreover, thanks to the latest air conditioning technologies and systems for data centres, the entire room does not have to be cooled indiscriminately, but instead the cold air can be channelled to the areas where it is needed most and, if the systems consume or heat less during particular time bands, the quantity of cold air injected can also be restricted.