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Case Study: How Airedale and CyrusOne deployed advanced cooling techniques on a 54MW DC to deliver PUE of 1.18

Airedale recently released a white paper claiming that enhanced cooling techniques could deliver up to 44% energy savings vs. current standard product and system designs. Theoretical figures are great, but does this work in practise?

The answer is yes. Airedale are pleased to present this new case study, demonstrating how enhanced cooling technologies, intelligent system design and next-generation optimisation software were deployed in a 54MW CyrusOne data centre to deliver exceptional PUEs that delivered a 34% energy saving versus the client’s baseline model.

This case study truly shows why air-based cooling systems remain the technology of choice for energy efficient data centres and keep Airedale at the cutting edge of an industry striving for sustainability amid unprecedented growth.

Water Side Optimisation

A technique called “water side optimisation” was key to success on site. Understanding how to impact both air and water conditions and therefore creating optimal approach temperatures and water-side Delta Ts, is the key to unlocking huge chunks of free cooling potential.

Large CRAH units with 365kW cooling capacity were deployed in the data halls, with deep row cooling coils to maximise heat exchange efficiency. Air path management in the white space was also optimised, resulting in 40°C return air temperatures back to the CRAHs, increasing efficiency further and resulting in a return water temperature of 31°C, creating ideal conditions for free cooling in the region’s climate.

Supply water is 23°C, a massive increase on what was possible even 5 years ago, with supply air in the data centre set at 27°C.

Closing approach temperatures and widening the water-side Delta T is one of the fundamental characteristics of the water-side optimisation technique, where water and air conditions are managed to maximise free cooling.

Cooling System Optimiser

With any data centre cooling system it is important to balance sustainability with performance by delivering the required operating conditions, resilience and redundancy at the lowest possible energy outlay. Optimising all the system variables and constantly fine-tuning them during operation is key to this balance.

Cooling System Optimiser is a dedicated data centre cooling controls platform. It is an additional controls layer, positioned above the unit controls and under the BMS, monitoring data from units and field sensors placed at critical points in the system.

  • Live water volumetric flow requirement from the CRAHs is used to automatically adjust water flow through the chillers.
  • Ambient temperature is monitored intelligently and free cooling is optimised by increasing system Delta Ts at part-load.
  • Optimised chiller sequencing based on cooling and flow demand – determines optimum number of operational units at any one time to ensure cooling demand satisfied at optimum loading.

The technology and expertise delivered by Airedale was of course an important factor in CyrusOne being able to meet their sustainability objectives.


CyrusOne and their consultants, J Dunton Associates, take a holistic view of sustainability and involve experts from their supply chain at a very early stage.


When the entire value-chain collaborates and shares responsibility for sustainability, innovation can be unlocked. Flexibility around variables like air on temperatures will be a catalyst for innovation and help the industry take the big steps required to reach the next level.