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Air recycling is an exhaustive priority
Keven McCammon, the data center's site manager, discussed at length the bevy of air-recycling mechanisms at work in the facility, where 100 percent of the air used for heating and cooling is sourced from the outdoor supply. The white tank next to him and the louvered window just beyond that are the starting point for corridor after corridor of air filtration, cooling and cleansing technology. Even the innocuous ground below him contains a plenum which holds hot air that's later recycled — a key component to how the facility combats the super-humid North Carolina summers. In the winter, hot air caught in the plenum is used for heating the admin area, but in summer it's used to remove humidity and dry the air for use in the server area.
There is immense power in air pressurization
Air is moved throughout the data center entirely by pressurization. Although the photo doesn't show it, heavy suction is wafting air from one side to the next. The area is so pressurized that each corridor entrance has a double-door vestibule to stabilize the pressure. That air is eventually pushed down a shaft into the server hall where it's pulled across the electronics to cool them off. Then that air is sent to the hot aisle and eventually pushed into the plenum, where it's either recycled or sent out the back.
A little water goes a long way
Nothing inside the data center's cooling mechanism is custom made, including this Munters mesh that uses water to regulate the temperature and refresh the air. The system creates a climate with an optimized combination of temperature and humidity — while also using 80 percent less energy than traditional cooling methods. McCammon said the system has also allowed them to eliminate the need for reverse osmosis and cut down on water usage, as water collected from the system is continually reused.