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Leading the way towards cooler data centres

Johannesburg, 15 Mar 2024
Amanda Venter, External IT Sales, Rittal SA.
Amanda Venter, External IT Sales, Rittal SA.

Modern data centres have to work harder than ever to support digital transformation, automation and operational efficiency. Equipped with processors that yield increased computation power, data centres offer greater capabilities.

However, as Amanda Venter, External IT Sales, Rittal SA, points out, the development of effective and energy-efficient cooling solutions for data centres remains a concern for the IT industry.

“Data centres currently account for almost 2% of the world’s overall electricity use – a percentage that’s expected to grow to 8% by 2030, driven not only by the adoption of AI and mobile data, but also by the growth of the data centre market,” she says. Indeed, the local data centre market is expected to grow rapidly, reaching a value of over $3 billion in the next four years.

“Considering that cooling accounts for almost half of the average data centre’s energy consumption, it’s no surprise that the local IT industry is prioritising ‘green’ solutions that offer sustainability and energy efficiency, to reduce operational costs and improve the sustainability of our data centres,” she adds.

Innovative cooling technologies improve energy efficiency

Efficient cooling and monitoring solutions play a crucial role in improving a data centre’s power usage effectiveness (PUE) and also lend data centres some resilience against the current energy infrastructure challenges.

“Rittal’s Blue e+ S cooling unit uses hybrid technology and delivers average energy savings of 75% compared to conventional cooling systems,” says Venter. This hybrid system sees two parallel cooling circuits operating independently or in tandem, depending on the temperature difference in the enclosure:

  • In the passive cooling circuit, a heat pipe cooling circuit dissipates heat from the enclosure, without a compressor (and therefore, without the need for electricity to power the fan).
  • The active climate control circuit, meanwhile, utilises an inverter-controlled compressor for targeted cooling. “By ensuring a constant temperature inside the enclosure, the Blue e+ system prolongs the service life of components,” adds Venter.

In addition, the Blue e+ S uses a refrigerant that has a global warming potential (GWP) that’s 56% lower than those used in comparable cooling units. “In addition, our Blue e+ Outdoor cooling units carry a high protection category of either IP 54 (without mounting frame) or IP 56 with mounting frame, making them robust and reliable,” notes Venter.

Blue e+ S.
Blue e+ S.

The Blue e+ S is also equipped with near field communication (NFC), making it accessible via mobile devices, with the use of the Rittal Scan & Service app. Efficient predictive maintenance and monitoring is facilitated via Rittal’s IOT-enabled Smart Service Portal.

“In 2023, the Blue e+ S was awarded the Control Engineering Product of the Year Gold Award in the USA. This is testament to Rittal’s commitment to innovation and sustainability,” concludes Venter.



"Rittal – The System." Since its foundation in 1961, Rittal has continuously evolved into the world's leading systems provider for enclosures, power distribution, climate control, IT infrastructure and software & services. Rittal offers you a perfectly coordinated system platform. It unites innovative productions, pioneering engineering solutions and global service to accommodate the most diverse requirements. It caters to a whole host of industries, from machinery and plant engineering, to the automotive industry, through to information technology. All from a single source, all in top quality.

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