Upsite’s New, Online Calculator Helps Users Identify Excess Cooling Capacity

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The CCF Calculator can help data center managers estimate their Cooling Capacity Factor for their data center site.

“When more detail is needed, the CCF can be pinpointed through an onsite assessment, such as Upsite’s EnergyLok Profile," said Lars Strong Senior Engineer at Upsite

Today, there is a lot of focus on cooling infrastructure and data center energy efficiency as a way to save money, increase density, and help the environment. Numerous solutions aim to help, ranging from blanking panels and aisle containment, to free cooling. But do you truly know how much potential there is to make a difference in your computer room? Will improved airflow management (AFM) allow you to significantly increase density or reduce operating expenses? By how much? What do you implement first?

To make informed decisions about spending money on additional cooling capacity or AFM solutions, you first have to determine how well your current resources are being utilized. “We typically see sites in which running cooling capacity is 250% of the IT load. In several cases, we have seen over 1,000% capacity of the IT load,” commented Lars Strong, Upsite’s Senior Engineer. “These are sites run by smart, responsible people at reputable companies who are struggling to determine how well they are utilizing their cooling capacity and, therefore, to justify AFM initiatives. It’s a very common issue.”

The quickest and easiest way to quantify the opportunity is to calculate what Upsite calls the Cooling Capacity Factor (CCF). The CCF is the ratio of total installed nameplate cooling capacity to critical load. This ratio should be about 1.2x or 120%. If the CCF is greater than 120% then it is very likely there are opportunities for right-sizing cooling capacity. In turn, this will improve energy efficiency, reduce operating expenses, improve the room’s environment, and support increasing server density. According to Strong, calculating your CCF and determining what you need to do to improve utilization are necessary for identifying your true ROI and payback period for any solution.

“When more detail is needed, the CCF can be pinpointed through an onsite assessment, such as Upsite’s EnergyLok Profile. During a profile we look at cooling unit capacities and set points, IT load, perforated tile placement, room layout, enclosure AFM characteristics, raised floor penetrations, IT equipment intake temperatures, and relative humidity patterns,” said Strong. The data gathered in the assessment also identifies airflow management improvements fundamental to the efficient operation of cooling in any computer room. “Plugging holes, sealing gaps and directing air help to deliver conditioned air to IT equipment intakes. This approach alone can have a payback period between three to six months. This is low hanging fruit and a pre-requisite to any advanced form of AFM such as hot or cold aisle containment,” added Strong.

Even with improvements in place, there are important steps data center managers must take: changing set points and turning off unnecessary cooling units. “This is where the savings is,” noted Strong. “These steps must be taken to realize the efficiency and cost saving benefits. Implementing AFM does improve IT equipment intake temperatures, but does not produce cost savings on its own.”

As a first step in realizing these benefits, Upsite has created an online CCF Calculator ( By entering some simple site data, data center managers can estimate the Cooling Capacity Factor for their site. While this is not intended to replace an in-depth onsite assessment, the calculator’s estimated CCF is an important first step towards understanding the utilization of existing cooling capacity. A site’s CCF and potential cost savings are calculated and summary of data and calculations are emailed to users.

About Upsite Technologies, Inc.
Known as the “pioneering company in airflow management solutions” Upsite Technologies, Inc. was founded in 2001 by Ken Brill, who in 1993, had established the Uptime Institute, a think tank dedicated to understanding, improving, educating and expanding awareness of uptime and optimal efficiencies in data centers. Upsite Technologies leveraged the experience and knowledge obtained at the Uptime Institute to create its initial energy-efficiency products and services including the first KoldLok product, the Integral grommet. Upsite continues to successfully engineer, design and manufacture a series of precision sealing solutions from our award winning, patented Lok Family of Solutions™. Sharing the science and executing it to optimize the data center is what sets Upsite apart in the industry. Upsite Technologies’ products and services empower data center managers to leverage cost savings and/or improve key elements of data center operations. The company is partnered with proven leaders in the data center airflow management industry throughout the United States, EMEA and Asia Pacific markets. For further information please visit

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Margaret Cde Baca
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