communicode in Essen, Germany


Communicode is a specialist in product information and CMS systems. There are 50 employees at the Essen location, which also houses the company’s server room. The company hosts projects for Osram Opto Semiconductor, Deichmann, Zander, and others on servers with a total capacity of approximately 20 terabytes.

Large heat loads from 5 to 16 kW occur in the 25 m2 server room. In the past, this room was exclusively cooled by a mechanical refrigeration system. This solution is very expensive and in addition, a system failure will nearly always lead to a breakdown of the entire server system.

One of the first Adcoolair units was started up in June 2010. The system operates with a sequential combination of indirect free cooling, adiabatic evaporative cooling, and adjustable capacity of the compressor refrigeration system. The process airflow and the indirect cooling necessary for the outdoor airflow have been separated completely from each other. This prevents contamination of the server room with moisture, dust and corrosive pollutants. One of the major advantages of the system is that it can be installed indoors with minimal space requirements and a small required outdoor air connection. The data center uses a plug-in, highly efficient solution that is usually used for large data centers with multiple MW capacity.

The device has been evaluated for several years using long-term monitoring by the Menerga vicomo system. The prior calculated data projected a medium pPUE of 1.08 for the entire system, including fans, compressors and pumps. This was based on the climatic conditions in Essen with supply and extract air temperatures in the server room from 20 to 34 °C. The year-round relative humidity is between 20 % and 80 %. The evaluation of the system with a flow rate of 2,500 m3/h and a cooling capacity of 20 kW has confirmed these very good estimates. As there were still capacities for further development of the data center, the maximum cooling load was 15.75 kW over the given period. From January 2013 to December 2014, the circulation air cooling unit’s heat dissipation was at 188 MWh with an electricity power demand of 25 MWh. Compared to the previously installed air circulation cooling unit without free cooling, the unit has reduced the electricity power demand to 24,222 kWh in this period and reduced CO2 emissions to 13.78 t. Water consumption for the adiabatic cooling system was at 1.4 m3 per MWh for the cooling capacity. In spite of the very low cooling load, the reduction of the operating costs were calculated with 1,500 to EUR 2,000 per year. The investments have already paid for themselves after five years.

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