The surge in new data centres being built in South African cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg is highlighting the importance of reliability and energy efficiency in air-conditioning systems.
According to Nick Pluck, external sales representative from Grundfos, data centres rely on accurate and continuous cooling of their server rooms to ensure optimal uptime and performance from their core systems. As a leader in sustainable water solutions, Grundfos has been providing pumps and controller solutions to local data centres as part of its extensive offering for heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) applications.
“Our pumps have long been at the heart of air-conditioning systems for a range of building types,” Pluck says. “They ensure accurate and controlled circulation, which is the key to user comfort and system efficiency.”
He highlights the leading technology that Grundfos has developed for intelligent control and monitoring of its pumps. While most HVAC applications depend on tried-and-tested end-suction pump technology, the Grundfos single stage inline pump is a proven alternative in this application.
“Our TP pump solution delivers great efficiency and importantly has a smaller footprint which is a major advantage as well,” Pluck says. “The trick is to couple this with the correct motor, controller and variable speed drive to deliver the efficiency, reliability and controllability that today’s customer demands.”
Pumps affect the performance of other components in a circulation system, so pump selection is vital when designing or maintaining a commercial air-conditioning installation. Data centres are a prime example of how Grundfos products meet the performance requirements of exacting applications, he says.
“With our solutions, you get pumps and pump systems that deliver maximum efficiency with minimum energy consumption,” Pluck adds.
The HVAC market is becoming increasingly energy conscious, argues Pluck, especially as electricity prices climb relentlessly. Both for the designers of new buildings and retrofitters of older buildings, the focus is on better efficiencies and energy savings for the end-user.
“This is where Grundfos excels, using premium efficiency motors with high quality drives,” he says. “We also ensure the software through which drives communicate with the motor is constantly extending efficiencies for the customer.”
Grundfos CUE frequency converters offer speed control for almost any Grundfos pump, regardless of size, power range and application area. As one of the latest speed-controlled pump systems, it is designed for a range of applications including commercial HVAC systems. The converters reduce the system’s output when demand drops, by changing the frequency at which the motor runs.
There are also mechanical efficiencies derived from the design and construction of physical elements of Grundfos pumps, from volutes to impellers and bearings.
“By combining mechanical and electrical efficiencies with bespoke controls we are able to deliver a solution that will provide optimum performance, and reliability,” Pluck concludes.
A Grundfos TP single stage inline pump installation on a data centre roof top in Gauteng.
An insulated installation of Grundfos TP pumps in a cooling application.
Grundfos TPE pumps installed in a primary hot water application for multi-story commercial building.
A Grundfos TPE pump using the functionality from the onboard variable speed drive to provide pinpoint accuracy for a cooling application.