Minkels Launches Varicondition-DX: Cooling for SME Server Room

Minkels, a European supplier of integrated data centre solutions for monitoring, cooling, power distribution and housing, introduces its Varicondition-DX cooling solution to the market. A modular and scalable data centre air cooling solution for SME.

This modular and scalable data centre air cooling solution is particularly suitable for small-scale server rooms. Minkels Varicondition-DX is an energy-efficient solution which can cool power capacities ranging from 2.5 to 22.5 kW. The product is a sound alternative to costly water cooling solutions, which are often not technically and/or financially feasible for small server rooms.

Minkels Varicondition-DX was designed specifically for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and larger organisations with local departments which have their own server rooms. The Varicondition-DX is specifically designed to cool small-scale server rooms.

Server Room Cooling: Modular Principle

Minkels Varicondition-DX is a server room cooling system suitable for use both in a row (closed loop) and in a Cold Corridor. Furthermore, Varicondition-DX does not require installation of raised floors to enable its implementation. In view of its low Total Cost of Ownership (TOC), Varicondition-DX is also suitable for use as a backup cooling solution in a data centre.

"This further complements Minkels' portfolio of data centre cooling solutions," says Jeroen Hol, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Aegide Group, Minkels' parent company. "This means that Minkels now has a cooling solution available for the cooling needs in any data centre. The modular nature of this new product, which is in keeping with Minkels' other products, was one of our main design principles. Furthermore, the scalability of the Varicondition-DX makes it a stable investment, as it is suitable for expansion in line with the growing business requirements of a small or medium-sized enterprise."

Varicondition-DX is capable of cooling the high-power capacities, of between 2.5 and 22.5 kW per server rack, in somewhat smaller server rooms. "Generally speaking, one would otherwise have to opt for water cooling in order to cool such capacities," says Patrick Timmer, Business Development Engineer at Minkels. "Water cooling enables you to cool up to 25 or 30 kW per rack. However, water cooling is by no means a cheap solution. As a small or medium-sized enterprise, one would therefore much prefer to avoid the additional investment involved in implementing a water cooled solution. Water cooling calls for substantial infrastructure modifications and a corresponding level of investment. Water cooling is therefore often simply too expensive for small businesses. Our DX cooling now offers an excellent alternative."

Data Centre Monitoring

In developing Varicondition-DX, Minkels' R&D department modified the DX principle to create a solution for precision cooling. Mr Timmer: "One aspect to which we devoted considerable attention was the possibility of acquiring adequate control of the relative humidity in the room. You have to take care to avoid excessive dehumidification, in view of the ensuing risks of static electricity. Conventional DX cooling does not take this into consideration at all, while Varicondition-DX does. Moreover, Varicondition-DX readily lends itself to remote control, using the integrated data centre monitoring product Minkels Varicontrol for instance."

Minkels' R&D department also devoted close attention to the energy efficiency of the system. "Conventional DX compressor cooling is not particularly energy-efficient, although this is more or less a compulsory requirement in a server room nowadays," Mr Timmer adds. "We therefore considerably improved the energy efficiency of the DX principle, which is very much in keeping with the joint business objectives of Minkels and its parent company, Aegide Group, of operating in an energy-efficient, environmentally aware and socially responsible manner."

Mr Timmer: "We succeeded in acquiring excellent performance in the field of energy efficiency through a combination of reducing complexity, the use of the efficient and eco-friendly coolant R410A, load sharing and pressure controls. However, we also recommend the application of Cold Corridors, with a view to further reducing energy consumption in the server racks themselves. After all, the segregation of hot and cold airflows can prove particularly beneficial, even in smaller server rooms."

DX Cooling Server Room Tested

Mr Timmer stressed that many of the conventional DX solutions available on the market are not really suitable for use in a data centre environment. "Their development was inspired by a different discipline, which paid no heed to the requirements applicable in a data centre environment. Other laws apply in a data centre, which call for different standards in terms of compressors, temperature control, coolants and air quantity, etc."

Varicondition-DX is based on proven technology, and has been extensively tested in terms of maintenance convenience, energy efficiency, continuity and reliability of the product. Mr Timmer: "Varicondition-DX is therefore a highly reliable and sustainable cooling solution for server rooms used by small and medium-sized businesses, as well as smaller local server rooms within corporate environments, while it also offers a very keen price-quality ratio. Furthermore, its modular and therefore scalable nature renders it a stable value investment which can develop in step with an SME's potential growth requirements.'

About Minkels
Minkels B.V. (www.minkels.com) is a European manufacturer of total solutions for data centre infrastructure, whose headquarters, R&D department and assembly lines are in the Netherlands (Veghel). The firm also has branches in the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and France. Minkels' product portfolio is subdivided into solutions for data centre cooling (Varicondition®), data centre housing (Varicon®) and data centre monitoring (Varicontrol®). Significant products in the Minkels portfolio are data centre water cooling solutions (Varicondition H2O), hybrid cooling solutions, using both air and water, as well as Cold Corridor® which offer an efficient manner to segregate hot and cold air flows in the data centre.

Minkels' client base includes Swisscom (Switzerland), Radboud University Nijmegen, Equinix Data Centers and De Persgroep media firm (Belgium). In view of the considerable knowledge and experience Minkels has acquired throughout the years in the field of data centre infrastructure solutions, it was also approached in 2008 by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (EU-JRC) to assist in the process of drafting the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres.

Minkels is a subsidiary of the Aegide Group (www.aegide-group.com), a major European player in the field of integrated development, manufacturing and marketing of high-quality housing solutions for the ICT and high-tech OEM industries. Aegide Group was nominated this year for the FD Gazellen Award 2011, a prize awarded annually by the Dutch business newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad to successful companies that have achieved an average growth of 20% during the preceding three years. Minkels also won the "Brabantse Economieprijs 2010" last year. This prize, which is awarded once every three years, was set up by the Dutch Province of Noord-Brabant with the intention of applauding the efforts of successful companies who dare to invest in innovation and innovative products, thereby providing dynamism and economic growth.

Press contact:

Minkels B.V.
Maartje van Alem, Marketing Communications Coordinator
+31 (0)413 311 184

Koen Stegeman
+31 (0)6 - 30491407