The data center industry is poised for significant change in the refrigerants which are used in cooling systems, changes that you'd do well to pay attention to in order to understand the implications for your own data center.
We’ve known for years, even decades, that refrigerants used in all sorts of cooling systems – from cars to home window units and refrigerators – are harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and impact on the global warming. So we’ve been phasing out the harmful ones over time while constantly looking for effective, safe replacements – typically with no shortage of prodding from various governmental bodies.
First waves, around 2002 in Europe and more recently in North America and Asia, were to ban any blend which contributes to the ozone depletion, while recent and next standards are going to reduce the impact on the general increase of temperature generated by refrigerant leakages in the atmosphere. More recently, an accord to cut the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in airconditioners was signed recently.
Data centers are no exception to this regulatory trend and, while the issues are quite clear, the solutions are far less so.
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