14629578_sUSA: Half of all data centre cooling systems in North America will be upgraded before the end of 2016 in a drive for greater reliability, efficiency and additional capacity.

The claims are made by Emerson Network Power following a survey of IT, facilities and data centre managers in the United States and Canada.

It found that while 40% of data centres have been upgraded in the past five years, nearly 20% are currently being upgraded and about 31% will be upgraded in the next 12 months.

The move toward using efficient and sustainable technologies is apparent in many upgrade activities. About 39% of respondents said upgrades had to meet state energy codes. About 32% cited the US EPA’a Energy Star label and 23% cited LEED as requirements for upgrades.

The survey found that 62% of the upgrades are in data centres under 10,000ft² and that 18% are in data centres larger than 50,000ft².

“Reliable performance and efficiency have always been critical to large data centre performance,” said John Peter Valiulis, vice president of thermal management marketing for Emerson Network Power in North America. “As the edge and cloud computing become ubiquitous, ensuring the health of cooling systems at smaller, localised data centres and computer rooms is crucial. Thermal upgrades are allowing companies to improve protection, efficiency and visibility within all these spaces.”

The survey also revealed that 43% are adding variable speed drives to fans and 41% are adding or replacing thermal controls to optimise the performance of variable speed technologies. 40% were also said to be adding economisers to provide “free cooling” when outside temperatures allow.

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