Windy City Reps

Choosing Data Center Cooling Systems

September 24, 2021

​Keeping IT equipment cool can be an expensive, energy-heavy endeavor. When it comes to data center cooling systems, one of the main challenges is to optimize power consumption while minimizing the risks of overheating the servers. Standard air conditioning systems can account for up to 40 percent of a data center’s overall power consumption. The ASHRAE Technical Committee recommends keeping server inlet temperatures between 65–80 °F, with 20–80 percent relative humidity. As a designer, you will need to factor in space cooling, heat rejection, and fluid conditioning while selecting the right data center cooling system(s) for your needs. 

Understandably, choosing or replacing a data center cooling system can be time-consuming. At Windy City Representatives, our engineers can help you make the most efficient use of design hours by guiding you through:

  • Choosing and designing the perfect system for your needs.
  • Identifying and sourcing high-quality, name-brand equipment. We work with the best mission critical brands, to make sure you’ll get the best value for your money. 
  • Connecting you with skilled contractors to implement your data center cooling design. We provide full aftermarket start-up, maintenance, and warranty service from Affiliated Service, our local in-house partner.

See below for a sample of our available data center cooling system options.

​Our Data Center Cooling System Options

Most existing data center cooling systems deploy conventional air-cooling technologies. With Windy City Representatives, you can select from a wide range of data center cooling options. We offer energy-efficient, traditional, and newer technologies, including:

  • Raised Floor Systems
  • Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle Containment
  • Chilled Water System
  • Free Cooling

Here’s how each option works:

​Raised Floor Systems 


The most common method for data center cooling, raised floor systems are ideal for rooms with a low density of IT equipment. 

Layout: A computer room air conditioner (AC) or air handler (AH) delivers cooled air to the servers through the raised platforms’ perforated tiles. After cooling the servers, the air returns to the AC or AH for cooling.

At Windy City Representatives, we offer custom air handling units from AAONTMIXNRGY, and Miller-Picking, as well as humidification options from Armstrong Humidifiers.

​Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle Containment


Data center server racks are frequently arranged in alternating rows of “cold aisles” and “hot aisles” to keep chilled intake and hot exhaust air from mixing. 

Layout: Hot server exhaust is isolated and sent to computer room AC units. To quickly deliver the chilled air to the IT equipment, in-row cooling units are often placed within a row of racks. When implemented in cold air containment, in-row cooling creates a closed-loop arrangement to focus chilled air on the equipment.

Windy City Representatives offers state-of-the-art computer room units from Compu-Aire.

​Chilled Water Systems


Many mid-to-large-sized data centers rely on a chilled water system to cool their IT equipment. 

Layout: Chilled water passes through coils and into a chiller connected to computer room air handlers. Once the water returns to the chiller, it mixes with condenser water flowing through a cooling tower. This type of system, however, requires data centers to install a chiller plant on their premises.

Windy City Representatives offers cooling towers from Tower Engineering Inc.

​Free Cooling


Some data centers leverage the cool outside air to lower air temperatures around servers. It is a cost-effective way to rely less on mechanical refrigeration and offers impressive energy savings, especially in cold, dry climates. 

Layout: The outdoor air is filtered, humidified, and directed into the data center to regulate the IT equipment’s cool temperature. Another approach is to use water-side economizers to cool room air or use rear-door heat exchangers to directly liquid-cool IT equipment cabinets.

Windy City Representatives carries chillers with free cooling capabilities from AAONGeoclimaSystecon, and Quantech.

​Evaporative Cooling


Adiabatic systems, which rely on evaporation’s cooling properties, require less water than their chilled water counterparts. This cooling system selectively removes heat from the environment. Next, the outdoor air passes through a wet filter, which chills it. This cooled air, in turn, significantly reduces the energy the system requires to mechanically cool.

Check out Windy City Representatives’ innovative data center cooling solutions from Excool.

​Choosing the Best Data Center Cooling System for You

As you craft and build your data center cooling system, let Windy City Representatives guide you. We are a Chicago-based full-service manufacturer’s rep firm offering some of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient cooling equipment and design solutions to fit your needs and budget. With our in-house team of experienced, skilled professionals, you can be assured of service and support over the life of your project.

How should you select an energy-efficient data center cooling system that fits your budget? We can help you find the right unit for your project. To get a quote, call us at (630) 590-6933 or email us at

At Windy City Representatives, we partner with premier HVAC equipment providers to help you design the best HVAC system for your building or facility’s needs and budget. 

Contact us today for a quote or bid.
200 Windsor Drive
Oak Brook, IL 60523
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