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Schneider Electric launches cooling for edge devices

Schneider Electric has introduced a system for cooling individual server racks in remote and edge locations that aren’t well suited for traditional data-center cooling schemes.

Uniflair Rack Mounted Cooling is a split system consisting of the air conditioning unit that goes in the cabinet and a fan that vents hot air from the cabinet to the outside. The external unit can be up to 20 meters away and up to five meters above or below the cooling unit.

The 5U, Freon-based air-conditioner unit blows cool air up the front of the cabinet where it is sucked into the servers by their front fans and absorbs heat generated by the servers. The hot air is expelled out the back and drawn down, cooled, and recirculated upwards.

The hot air is cooled by passing over refrigerant pipes in the unit that absorb heat from the warmed air. The heated refrigerant is pumped through a heat exchanger sitting outside the cabinet, where a fan blows over the pipes to cool the Freon. The coolant is then routed back into the air conditioner inside the cabinet.

Obviously this design is for non-standard data centers with no air conditioning. The traditional data-center design calls for cooling air beneath a raised floor and routing it up into the server cabinets. But in a remote office or edge location, a raised floor is not possible.

The company touts Uniflair as offering up to 3.5kW of cooling to cool a single rack of IT equipment. The unit features automated control of the fans to adjust for temperature, and integration with Schneider’s data center management (DCIM) software, EcoStruxure IT Expert and EcoStruxure Asset Advisor. EcoStructure is the company’s open, interoperable, IoT-enabled system architecture and platform. EcoStruxure leverages advancements in IoT, mobility, sensing, cloud, analytics, and cybersecurity, the company says.

―Network World

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