Diving into Efficiency: The Role of Water Treatments in Data Centres

Diving into Efficiency: The Role of Water Treatments in Data Centres

In the world of data centres, where every watt of energy is optimised and every resource is under scrutiny for efficiency, water treatment is the unsung hero in the quest for sustainable operations. In our blog – Water usage breakdown in Data Centres – we looked at the numerous different uses of water as part of the daily energy-intensive operations.

With great reliance on water comes the responsibility to manage this precious resource wisely. Water treatment stands at the forefront of this effort, ensuring that the vast quantities of water required by data centres are not just efficiently used but also conserved and recycled where possible. As data centres continue to evolve into vast hubs of digital activity, the significance of efficient water treatment practices cannot be emphasised enough. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how these water treatment practices safeguard resources and pave the way towards a greener, more efficient future.

From Filtration to Purification: Water Treatment Options for Data Centres

Water Softening

Ion exchange technology is used for water softening to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium ions. High mineral content in hard water can cause scale build-up in cooling systems and equipment within data centres, reducing their efficiency and causing damage. In ion exchange, hard water passes through a resin bed containing sodium ions, which swap places with calcium and magnesium ions, effectively softening it. 

The resin bed is periodically regenerated by flushing it with brine solution to remove accumulated minerals. For optimal performance, monitoring and control mechanisms are necessary, while regular maintenance is essential. Adding this treatment prevents scale build-up, optimises heat transfer, and ensures data centre infrastructure’s reliability and longevity.

Reverse Osmosis

With reverse osmosis (RO), contaminants and impurities are removed from water for critical operations, ensuring the quality of the water. The process involves forcing water through semipermeable membranes under high pressure, effectively removing particles, ions, and dissolved solids. As the purified water is collected, the rejected impurities are flushed away. 

By treating water with RO, minerals, organic compounds, and bacteria can be removed, making it suitable for cooling and humidification systems and can be used as feed water to increase cycles of concentration (CoC) in cooling towers. The reverse osmosis process produces clean water reliably and efficiently, which makes it an essential part of management of data centres.

UV Sterilisation

During UV sterilisation treatments, microorganisms present in the water supply are killed or inactivated. UV light is emitted from specialised lamps as water passes through a chamber during this process. DNA and RNA of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens are disrupted by UV light, rendering them incapable of replicating. 

The method eliminates microbial contamination from water, so it can be used in cooling and humidification systems, and equipment cleaning applications within the data centre. It is an eco-friendly and chemical-free method that provides continuous disinfection without altering the water’s chemical composition. UV sterilisation treatment minimises the risk of equipment damage and downtime due to microbial growth by ensuring the purity of the water supply.

Filtration

Various filtration technologies are used in data centres to remove contaminants and impurities from the water supply including rainwater and borehole water. Filtration involves multiple stages, starting with coarse filters to remove larger particles and sediment, then finer filters to capture smaller particles and dissolved solids.

The most common methods of filtration in data centres are

  • Multimedia filtration
  • Cartridge filtration
  • Iron and manganese filtration
  • Activated carbon filtration and
  • Membrane filtration

In multimedia filtration, different media are used such as sand, glass, gravel, and anthracite to trap different sized particles. By using activated carbon, chemicals, odours, and organic compounds are adsorbent to the water. A membrane filtration system uses semipermeable membranes to physically separate contaminants from water based on their size and molecular weight. With filtration treatment, data centre infrastructure stays clean, impurities-free, and able to run cooling systems, humidify, and other critical applications, resulting in a high level of reliability and efficiency.

Streamlining Data Centre Water Management: Our Proven Approach

As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s important to remember that every drop of water saved through responsible water management contributes to a more resilient and eco-conscious data centre industry.

Our comprehensive range of pre-treatment and process solutions are geared towards optimising your resources, reducing water usage, enhancing energy efficiency, and helping you meet your sustainability goals.

From micro data centres to hyperscalers, our water treatment solutions cater to all projects, whether it’s a new build or an upgrade and retrofit. Backed by our extensive network of specialist service engineers, we ensure the uninterrupted functionality of your critical data centre operations. To learn more about how our water treatment solutions can increase efficiency and meet your sustainability goals, click here.

With extensive market knowledge paired with technological knowhow, let Purite’s experienced team collaborate with your consulting engineers and M&E contractors from design to build. Contact us today to get started.

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