AdaptivCool Cuts Datacenter Energy Use

AdaptivCool, a new product from Milford-based Degree Controls, offers a thermal management solution that can save more that 20 percent of the energy use at a datacenter–or other heat-intensive industrial building. According to Degree Controls, when the system was recently installed at a large electrical management company in New England, it immediately cut energy use 22 percent, eliminated hot spots and reduced both humidification and dehumidification problems. Founded in 1997, privately-owned Degree Controls serves the international telecom industry and the medical, military and critical containment enclosure markets selling both custom-designed solutions and standard products including high performance heat sinks, precision airflow instruments and sensors. Its AdaptivCool division then expanded the company’s expertise in airflow management to managing airflow in an entire data servicing room. “The system typically reduces energy use by 20 percent to 30 percent right away. In the Manhattan area in particular, because of the high cost of electricity, payback will take less than one year,” Wally Phelps, AdaptivCool product manager told CPN. About three years in development, AdaptivCool, which launched in early 2006, now has 40 corporate customers.To install the system, first engineers conduct detailed analysis of air-flow in an entire data center space, identify problems such as hot spots, and redirect the airflow, basically finding solutions by figuring out how to redistribute cold air to where it is needed in real time. Noted Phelps, “Computing capacity requirements are going up and will never come down. Along with the convergence of more and more stuff like iPods and YouTubes driving the need for data upwards, computers are getting faster and more power hungry and using twice the amount of electricity, which results in more heat dissipation that has to be cooled. The people running data centers have a lot to worry about and we take the headaches away from them. Our engineers go in and find out the problem and a typical installation takes a couple of days. If clients can protect their equipment and also save energy, they can increase efficiency.”“The construction of data centers is growing exponentially, and a huge expansion is expected within the next five years,” predicted Mark Bedard, of Ward Hill Marketing in Lawrence, Mass. “Thermal issues are continuing to be a big problem.”