Cooling in the data centre - BTU emissions per server

We are currently in the process of replacing our air conditioners for our server room.

To ensure we get the right level of cooling, we need to know the amount of heat our servers are generating.

We have up to 100 DELL servers in racks plus a number of other test machines about the place (we have a row of racks, plus a few tables with test servers on/under them). So I've been looking for a list of DELL servers which details the amount of heat (BTU/Hr) they emit.

I found the dell rack advisor tool but it appears to have been replaced by the
DELL data centre capacity planner

I also found another tool from APC:

I've also been looking at the dell documentation for each server as there is sometimes a 'power' section which details BTU or Watts emitted.

Some of these tools will display a BTU/Hr figure (which seems to be the industry standard of measuring heat output in a data centre?) whilst others will display amps or watts etc.

1 BTU = 3.4 watts (I think its 3.412 to be precise)

Lets use an example:

DELL Poweredge 2600

DELL Datacentre Capactiy Planner:
Watts: 602
BTU/Hr: 2047 (602*3.4)

DELL Documentation for the 2600:
Then in the "Service Manual" -> "Technical Specs" it has a section called Power - which lists:
Heat dissipation: 3100 BTU/Hr
Watts: 730

APC Selector tool:
Watts: 376
BTU/Hr: 1284

As you can see, the BTU from the 3 sources ive found are quite different. Plus, not every DELL server is available with the different tools.. and sometimes the DELL documentation doesnt include a power section at all!

So im scratching my head a bit.. We are using APC racks and APC have told us to use their tool.
Ive rung DELL and theyve suggested using the DELL docco for each individual server.
Then I found DELLS datacentre capacity planner which is totally different again.

Has anyone gone through the task of listing the heat emissions for their servers? What process did you follow? Have you got any suggestions?

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3 Replies

Re: Cooling in the data centre - BTU emissions per server

Since you already have your servers you can just measure their power usage with a clamp meter (Your electical contractor should be able to do this). I think that the numbers in the documentation refer to the maximum output that the power supplys can provide and the numbers used by the Datacenter Planner is the maximum power needed for the most power hungry configuration. APC bases their calculations on typical power consumption based on the components of the server.
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Dev Mgr

Re: Cooling in the data centre - BTU emissions per server

Check out this Dell online rackadvisor.

It may be able to help you plan for your AC requirements.

As for the different values that different vendors provide, I have no answer for that.

Member since 2003

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Re: Cooling in the data centre - BTU emissions per server

Looks like the technical specs are listing the nameplate load (or worst case scenario) and is not the number you want to use.
The Data Center Capacity Planner allows you to check to see what your as built configuration is and while a bit conservitive (a little bit higher than actual), is as accurate as you will get without actually plugging it in a measuring it with your applications running.
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