sliding access door in a contained aisle

A Quick Guide To Choosing The Right Aisle Containment Doors

Aisle containment has become an increasingly pervasive option for improving data center cooling efficiency. After all, footing the hefty energy bill for air conditioning can dig a big hole in your bank account.

Whether you opt for cold aisle containment or hot aisle containment, you can rest assured that you’ll cut power costs, reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that your data center is optimally cool to operate the racks at maximum efficiency. For the best results, however, data center facilities have to invest in top-notch aisle containment products like ceiling panels, wall panels, containment strips, and, of course, doors.

In this post, we are going to turn our focus on selecting the right containment door system to help create a truly effective barrier between the cold aisle and the hot aisle.

Why Your Data Center Needs Aisle Containment Doors

A crucial element to both cold and hot aisle containment is capping the ends of the aisles with a fully-functional door system for easy entrance and exit. Cool Shield has a wide range of hinged, strip and sliding containment doors that are elegant, resilient and versatile.

Each of our door systems is designed to not only spruce up the operation and overall design of your facility but also greatly enhance efficiency. The frames of the doors are built using high-grade, tubular steel for optimum durability and strength. Besides, they are powder coated to marry well with the color and aesthetics of your server cabinets.

They are ideal for containment applications, retrofit to your current racks, and can be redesigned to suit any data center design. More importantly, our engineers have gone the extra mile to ensure that every containment door comes with clear insert to let in plenty of light and improve visibility into the aisles.

The key benefits offered by our top-of-the-line aisle containment doors include but not limited to:

Easy setup and configuration – The side extensions and headers can fit snugly to our standard door sizes, which means that they can adapt and function well with just about any size of cold/hot aisles.

Improved cooling efficiency and capacity – The door system allows you to take your data center cooling capacity to the next level.

Perfect barrier that eliminates mixing of cold/hot air – This can do wonders for your data center efficiency and cooling bill

Easy access – It’s built with effortless access in mind from the ground up.

sliding containment door containing aisle in data center

Factors/Considerations for Aisle Containment Doors

Keep the following factors in mind when choosing the right aisle containment doors for your data center.

  • Size of the Cold Aisle/Hot Aisle Containment Area – How big the data center enclosure is will have a bearing on what type and size of door system you will need to purchase.
  • Accessibility and Security – Sliding containment doors will provide the quickest and the most convenient access. However, for the best security, you will need hinged doors.
  • Will you retrofit existing server rooms? You will need a door system that best matches the needs of your existing command center.
  • Obstructions and odd configurations – You will also need to consider existing obstructions and design setups that might hinder installation and proper functioning of the door. Here, think about conduits, ducting, lighting, and cable trays, just to mention a few.
  • Controlling leaks – For optimal cooling, you ought to plug leaks between the rack mountings and around the rails in front of the servers. For instance, will you have to plug leak holes in a raised door system?

Types of Aisle Containment Doors Available from Cool Shield

(1) Single Sliding Door

The Cool Shield single sliding doors come complete with self-closing functionality. As a single setup, the door can open partially for quick entry/exit, or fully to enable moving of equipment into or from the aisles. This option is both visually-stunning and exceptionally functional.

Key features:

Best for: high-traffic data centers that need to minimize air leakage from the contained aisles

(2) Double Sliding Door

The double sliding door system comprises two door panels that slide to either end. It’s a perfect containment solution for sealing off the end of the aisles. The door system sufficiently prevents mixing of exhaust and supply air for an all-around aisle containment efficiency.

Key features:

  • Caters to both cold or hot aisles of widths up to 52 inches
  • Gravity-assisted self-closing mechanism
  • Door hold capability
  • Meets ADA compliance regulations

Best for: High traffic control centers that need end-of-aisle entry solution

(3) Deluxe Sliding Doors

Designed for aisle entrance, the Cool Shield self-closing deluxe sliding door system brings the best of the two worlds – functionality coupled with visibility and beauty. These doors can hold in the completely opened status to enable movement of big equipment.

Key features

  • Tubular steel frames for max durability and strength
  • Large clear inserts for maximum visibility and lighting
  • Inserts rated FM Global 4910 and UL94 for fire protection
  • The frames are powder-coated for optimum aesthetics

Best for entryway solution for high traffic control room facilities

rendering of strip containment doors in data center

(4) Strip Containment Doors

Rated best for fire protection, strip containment doors comprise vertical strips that offer a great way to prevent cold/hot aisle air mixing.

Key features:

  • UL94 V0 and Class A rated strips
  • Comes with fasteners that are re-closable
  • Comes with special channel bars for easy navigation around pipes, cable trays, etc.
  • Available in 48-inch, 26-inch, 14-inch, and 12-inch versions

Best for: data centers that want quick and hassle-free installation of the door system, as well as extremely easy access to the aisles.

(5) Single Hinge and Double Hinge Doors

If you are looking for maximum cold/hot aisle containment and permanence, look no further than the Cool Shield single hinged and double hinged door systems. The single hinge version has one door that fixed to a side of the aisle, while the double has two doors that swing open for ideal airflow prevention and temperature control.

Key features

  • Available in either one or two-door system
  • Auto door closing for max air leak control
  • Clear inserts that meet high standards of visibility and fire protection rating
  • Inserts options include FM 4910, E83, acrylic and metal

Best for: Data centers, control room, and NOCs, where security is paramount. They can be customized to fit any size and budget. Let Cool Shield can handle your job today.

(Updated on: April 25, 2019 @ 3:51 pm)