Hot and Cold Aisle Containment (HAC & CAC) Solutions

Data Center Resources provides Hot Aisle Containment Solutions (HAC), Cold Aisle Containment Solutions (CAC), Air Sealing Products and Installation Services for small and large colocation or enterprise data centers.

Our hot and cold aisle containment system has evolved over the course of helping hundreds of customers get the most out of their cooling infrastructures. Every containment project is unique and constantly present new challenges. These projects require customized solutions, therefore extending the capabilities of the product line. Our proprietary containment channels are the heart of our system. Each of our profiles consist of a unique combination of threaded and slotted sides to provide a seemingly endless number of applications and configurations. In addition, the design allows for great adaptability in mounting to a HAC or CAC system, the ceiling, strut channel, support beams, cable trays, threaded rod, concrete ceiling or just about anything.

The Cool Shield Aisle Containment System

Cool Shield is the most versatile aisle containment system to help both new and existing data centers increase cooling efficiency.

Cool shield aisle containment logo

The system uses a variety of flexible strips and solid panels are to create a customized aisle containment solution for each project. This versatility allows us to meet nearly any specification including temperature rated drop panels, sliding panel systems, fusible link options and FM Global 4910 requirements. In addition to being highly functionality and customizable, Cool Shield is extremely cost competitive compared to other aisle containment systems.

Hot vs. Cold Aisle Containment (HAC vs. CAC)

Today’s data centers require massive amounts of cooling and power. Above all, the decision to choose Hot or Cold aisle containment is largely dependent on your site requirements and equipment needs.

A diagram showing the benefits of hot vs cold aisle containment.

Making the Decision: Cold vs. Hot Aisle Containment

Hot aisle/cold aisle is a layout design for server racks and other computing equipment in a data center. The goal of a hot aisle/cold aisle containment configuration is to conserve energy and lower cooling costs by managing air flow.

Data centers must first decide whether to contain the airflow in their cold or hot aisles. There are arguments for both approaches but the bottom line is that both are effective. Hence, the best approach will be dictated by site conditions. To implement hot aisle containment, there must be a return path to cooling units such as a drop ceiling plenum. There are also typically more obstacles, such as cable trays on the hot aisle side. Therefore, most existing sites find it is easier to implement a cold aisle containment system.

When to choose Cold Aisle Containment

Cold aisle containment isolates the supply airflow from cooling units to create a uniform and highly controllable temperature at the server intake.

A diagram illustrating effective cold aisle containment in the data center

Cold aisle containment systems (CACs) allows for all of the cooled supply air from the CRAC/CRAH units to be in direct proximity of the air intake of critical equipment. In addition, sealing the cold aisle prevents hot server exhaust air from re-circulating around to the server intake. As a result, this combination allows for precise control of the cold aisle air temperature. Most noteworthy, increased control allows the data center manager to optimize the set point temperatures from cooling units.

Benefits of Cold Aisle Containment

  • Improves facility efficiency
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Works in nearly any environment
  • Provides consistent airflow and temperatures

Hot Aisle Containment Benefits

Hot aisle containment channels the server exhaust air directly to the AC return unit. Channeling the exhaust air prevents hot air from affecting the rest of the room.

A diagram showing effecting hot aisle containment in the data center

Hot aisle containment systems (HACs) bring server exhaust directly back to the returns on the cooling units. This results in two circumstances, both of which can significantly improve cooling efficiency. First and foremost, containing the hot exhaust air prevents it from re-circulating over the top of server cabinets and mixing with the supply air. Furthermore, returning warmer air to the cooling units will improve the performance of the cooling units. As a result, this double benefit generally makes hot aisle containment preferable to cold aisle containment. Consequently, many existing sites are not set up to take advantage of hot aisle containment.

Benefits of Hot Aisle Containment

  • Increases capacity of cooling units
  • Maximizes energy savings
  • Provides comfortable temperatures in rest of data center

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