Data centers CO2
M&M Carnot published a white paper on replacing HFCs with CO2 refrigeration in data centers

M&M Carnot Publishes Guide to Replacing High-GWP Refrigerants in Data Centers With CO2

The guide describes how to reduce the environmental impact of data centers while also reducing cooling costs and improving processes.

The U.S.-Canadian manufacturer of natural refrigerant equipment M&M Carnot Refrigeration has published a white paper to help owners of data centers replace high-GWP refrigerants with CO2 (R744) solutions.

The “Refrigerant Restrictions: Is Your Data Center Ready for the Transition?” report aims to help data centers “prepare for the phase out of HFCs in data center CRAC [computer room air-conditioning] systems and to improve the impact of data centers on the environment, while also improving processes and reducing cooling costs,” the company said in a statement.

M&M Carnot was formed in July 2019 when U.S. M&M Refrigeration, a major supplier of industrial ammonia/NH3 (R717) and ammonia/CO2 cascade systems, acquired Canadian Carnot Refrigeration.

Carnot has been installing its Aquilon CO2 cooling systems in “dozens” of data centers in Canada since 2012. A case study included in the white paper details how a data center in Quebec replaced an old R22 system with a new CO2 Aquilon system. The system maintains a steady temperature of 73.4°F (23°C) year round, and in its first year of operation it delivered 60% energy reduction compared to the old system, resulting in a 14% reduction of the entire facility’s energy consumption. These figures will provide a return of investment of approximately two years, M&M Carnot writes.

Why a Guide to Data Centers?

The background for the report is that popular refrigerants for data center cooling (like R134a, R410A and R407C) are being phased out in Canada – and in the U.S. they will be prohibited from use in new chillers starting January 1, 2024. 

Another good reason to switch is the amount of energy and money that can be saved with CO2 systems. In the report, M&M Carnot states that a CO2 cooling system is 12 times more economical than a system using HFCs and that it can save up to 90% more in energy consumption than conventional systems.

With roughly 40% of power in the data center going to cooling and data centers contributing carbon emissions on par with the entire aviation industry, according to M&M Carnot, the paper details how data center owners and operators can “future-proof their cooling systems while improving existing operations and reducing their burden on the planet.”

“This white paper demonstrates how CRAC equipment using CO2 as a refrigerant improves data center processes, reduces their costs and reduces the use of equipment with high global warming potential,” said Marc-André Lesmerises, President of Carnot Refrigeration. 

“We know that making this change demonstrates a commitment to the environment and it’s exciting to help our data center customers find a solution to cool their data centers that meets their needs and the needs of the planet.”

In addition to a data center cooling system, the M&M Carnot Aquilon range also includes the plug-and-play transcritical Aquilon Industrial refrigeration rack, the Aquilon Chill and the Aquilon DS, a transcritical CO2 condensing unit.

Mark Piegay, East Regional Sales Manager for M&M Carnot, spoke about the company’s other Aquilon CO2 refrigeration systems at ATMO World Summit in March. View his presentation here.

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