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Core4 challenges traditional data center cooling technology

Core4 Systems, a start-up that sells an innovative data center cooling system, is targeting businesses who are trying to reduce the footprint of their data centers or find a more modular way to build out a new one.The company offers a range of systems including CRAC, water cooled and chiller systems with air handlers.

Core4 Systems, a start-up that sells an innovative data center cooling system, is targeting businesses who are trying to reduce the footprint of their data centers or find a more modular way to build out a new one.

The company offers a range of systems including CRAC, water cooled and chiller systems with air handlers. According to Jamien McCullum, vice president of business development for Core4, the things that differentiate the company's systems from competitive offerings include patent-pending technology for reduced compression and for the way that its fans are designed, as well as advances involving its evaporators, refrigerant pumps and flow control. Core4 claims that its technology can help cut cooling costs by an average of 72 percent. This number is apparently backed up with an audit by utility company PG&E.

Here are more details from the company's launch press release.

Core4, founded in 2008, just launched its technology commercially in June. But that hasn't stopped it from developing a great reference account with Sonic.net, a colocation facility operator with a location in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The facility removed three 30-ton, two-year-old CRAC units from a competitor and replaced them with Core4 cooling technology. Sonic.net was looking for a way to extend the capacity of this existing facility, which had been maxed out. By opting to switch to Core4, the company saved about $600,000 in new electricity services that would have been needed to install more cooling technology from the original supplier. In addition, Core4 says Sonic.net now saves about $129,000 annually in electricity costs (reducing overall costs by about 72 percent). The cost to Sonic.net for the Core4 coolers -- after a $149,000 rebate from its utility company -- was $495,000.

As you might expect, Core4 is a proponent of the modular approach. Facilities can add more cooling technology as their needs grow.

"Our biggest benefit is to expand capacity in existing space," McCullum says. He estimates the return on investment for the Core4 technology at between one-and-a-half to two years.

Core4 documents indicate that it will cost $250 to $350 per square foot to retrofit facilities with its colling technology. The company's systems are approved for a $159,000 rebate per 100 tons of cooling with California utility companies.