aisle containment doors behind server racks

Installing A Hot Aisle Containment System

As you already know, there are two kinds of temperature-controlled aisle containment systems: Cold Aisle Containment (CAC) and Hot Aisle Containment Systems (HAC). Today we’re going to look at the installation process of the latter.

What Is Hot Aisle Containment/HAC?

First things first: Let’s do a refresher on what exactly Hot Aisle Containment (HAC) is.

How HAC works is that it closes off a hot aisle so it can alleviate equipment exhaust. Think of it as when you close the drapes in a sunny room in an attempt to relieve some of that heat. Essentially, while “hot” is in the title, HAC allows for cool air intakes, creating a system that’s able to accommodate power loads with extremely high densities.

Just as Cold Aisle Containment is the Opposite of Cold, the same can be said for Hot Aisle Containments (confusing, right?).

How To Install A Hot Aisle Containment System

HACS can be installed around units that already exist or they can be built from new units.

If you’re installing an HAC around already-installed equipment, you should use the PDU, UPS, or InRow units to start. Hot Aisle Containment Systems must be installed in the floor of a room within 0.075 degrees from the level of an eight-rack configuration or within 0.035 from a 16-rack configuration.

aisle containment hot aisle system - Installing a Hot Aisle Containment System

Things To Remember When Installing An HAC System

  • • When installing on a raised floor, make sure that at least one floor tile is completely unimpeded so you can access pipes and valves underneath
  • • Don’t fix screws or bolts into place unless all components, ceiling panels, doors, etc., are assembled and installed
  • • InRow RC or RD units must be installed across from one another
  • • Use ceiling panels to help distance and align the equipment rows
  • • Racks with the same widths must be placed across the hot aisles from each other
  • • Take off rear doors and hinges from SX racks before integrating them into an HAC system

Overview Of HAC Installation

  1. 1. Utilizing the ISX Designer printout, plan out the positions of the main components.
  2. 2. Put together the first row and align it to join the main components. This can be completed from one end to the other. It can also start from the InRow cooling unit, PDU, or UPS, where you work your way outward to both ends.
  3. 3. The next thing you’ll want to do is build the doors and install them on both ends. This will help when it comes to aligning the second row.
  4. 4. Next, you’ll want to position and align the components with the second row. The door frames can be used to guide and measure distance.
  5. 5. The ceiling panel frames can be installed next, but do NOT install the Lexan panels yet.
  6. 6. Following the ceiling panels, install the power troughs and data center partitions.
  7. 7. Make sure the alignment of the racks and rack equipment are arranged properly and that all the panels line up from the top. Open the leveling feet to make sure the racks and equipment are level.
  8. 8. Fix the end panels and attach the doors from their hinges.
  9. 9. Finally, it’s time for the Lexan panels to be installed inside the Hot Aisle Containment.

HACS Are More Comfortable For Personnel

Where Cold Aisle Containment temperatures can be challenging for IT staff stationed at desks in the data center, Hot Aisle Containment Systems mitigate the temperatures with sections that let in cool air. Plus, Hot Aisle staff are not permanently stationed in the hot aisles like CAC staff members and the work takes place at the front of the IT racks, with a work ratio of 25% work to 75% rest.

According to studies, compared to CACS, the HACS case provides 3,428 more economizer hours and a 13% improvement in PUE, which is the industry metric for efficiency. So staff comfort definitely seems to boost the productivity in Hot Aisle Containment Systems.

vertical sliding containment doors - Installing a Hot Aisle Containment System

Make The Switch To Hot Aisle Containment

While Cold Aisle Containment solutions can be easier to deploy and less costly, in the long run, Hot Aisle Containment Systems may be the more efficient approach because they allow for a better work environment when it comes to temperatures. At the heart of any organization is its employees and HAC systems definitely have their back when it comes to a more accommodating work environment. HAC systems also provide increased chilled water temperatures that produce better PUE and electrical cost savings, so there are significantly more savings across the board.

Both CAC and HAC have their benefits. You just have to look at how the systems can benefit your company or organization. HAC might be more costly at first, but in the long run you’re investing in your employees and what might be a more successful work environment.

About Cool Shield

For all of your data center containment system needs, Cool Shield offers the most highly configurable solutions in the industry, whether it’s Cold Aisle Containment System configurations or Hot Aisle Containment System ones. Because Cool Shield knows every data center and organization is unique, the company takes hundreds of standard components to customize a solution for any project on any budget. Cool Shield helps every site get the most out of its cooling infrastructure. For more information, email