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A pioneering carbon dioxide based IT cabinet cooling system from TROX AITCS is protecting mission critical "blade servers in the E-Science Computer Suite at Imperial College London.

The contract, part of a refurbishment project in the College's Mechanical Engineering Building, involved the installation of 15 TROX CO2┬▓OLrac units, each providing 20kW of cooling. TROX AITCS was responsible for the supply and installation of a combined air-cooled R134a chiller and carbon dioxide (CO2) plant, fully welded stainless steel secondary CO2┬▓ distribution pipe work and gas detection/isolation.

Kieran McDaid, senior projects manager at Imperial College, is delighted with the result. He said: "We have been impressed with the professionalism of TROX / Star in bringing this new and innovative product to market."

The CO2┬▓OLrac units were supplied with a mounting frame, giving Imperial College I.T.C. staff the flexibility to rapidly install different types and sizes of equipment cabinets. A condensing unit backed by an uninterruptible power supply was also provided to protect the CO2┬▓ charge if a power failure occurs.

TROX AITCS installed the mounting frame, cabinet doors, and CO2OLrac units. The company's refrigeration partner, Star, installed the associated chiller plant and pipe work.

CO2┬▓OLrac can cool heat loads of up to 30kW per cabinet making it ideal for cooling the latest high-tech blade servers found in a range of industries, including banking, finance, the military and healthcare.

The high capacity makes it far more efficient than the air and water-cooling alternatives, allowing the "footprint of IT equipment rooms to be reduced by 50 to 70 per cent, and thus saving valuable space in increasingly crowded computer rooms.

CO2┬▓OLrac additionally offers cost benefits. Because the system is packaged, installation time and expenditure are reduced dramatically. The integral R134a chiller/CO2┬▓ plant can provide energy savings of up to 30%. The compressor power consumption is reduced due to the elevated R134a temperature to provide CO2 ┬▓at 14 degrees centigrade compared to CHW at 6 degrees centigrade. The system benefits further from reduced volume flows of CO2┬▓ vs. CHW, along with its reduced viscosity.