BRACKNELL, United Kingdom — A new market study from BSRIA shows that large hyper data centers are changing the market for precision cooling and that over the next five to 10 years the use of traditional computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units is expected to drop dramatically as data centers opt for a combination of free cooling, liquid cooling, and chilled water cooling.

BSRIA said hyper scale data centers such as those of Amazon, Apple, AWS, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! are very open to deploying “new” technologies, for example: modular, outdoor AHUs (air handling units)/evaporative cooling. This has driven a lot of change and enabled traditional air conditioning manufacturers like Carrier, Daikin, Johnson Controls, Trane, and others to participate in the data center cooling market. Data centers in general are evolving rapidly. The standard design that was common in the last two decades is giving way to more flexible configurations that more closely match the sophisticated needs of more discerning, better informed customers.

Lone Hansen, WMI manager - I.T. Cable Group, said, “Most of the large hyper-scale (American) data centers have a centralized team that will develop the specification with regards to IT equipment and networks, cooling, and power. The specification will typically be rolled out globally and include several (often three to four) approved suppliers in each product category. A global footprint is an important part of the selection criteria. Most value multiple source relationships as opposed to single source relationships. Some of the products are sourced direct from the suppliers to reduce the cost.”

Data center capacity is growing with the increasing number of IP connections, increasing traffic, and need for storage. The precision cooling products installed in data centers are estimated at $1.9 billion covering the 10 largest markets worldwide in 2014 and these markets are expected to show healthy growth up to 2017.

America accounts for around 40 percent of the global data center cooling market. China accounts for just under a third and the United Kingdom 8 percent. Other countries include Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, and Russia, of which Germany is by far the largest, accounting alone for 6 percent of the global market.

The $1.9 billion does not include precision cooling products installed in non-IT sectors such as health care and laboratories, manufacturing, industrial, semiconductors, and education (close control applications in universities and school laboratories). Though smaller than the data center market, this market is nevertheless substantial and its dimensions are also estimated in the study.

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Publication date: 9/15/2015

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