June 24th, 2016 by StorageReview Enterprise Lab
Tripp Lite SRCOOL24K SmartRack Portable Air-Conditioning Unit Review
While our focus is primarily on storage products, we sometimes explore their related hardware, including cooling solutions designed to keep our equipment running smoothly. Our primary source of cooling is fresh air, but during excessively warm periods we turn to spot chillers to keep sensitive review equipment cool. To that end we've added Tripp Lite's new SRCOOL24K SmartRack portable air conditioner to the test lab. Packing 24,000 BTU (2 Tons) of cooling power, this unit is designed remove up to 7kW of equipment load from a room in a fully self-contained package.
Tripp Lite’s SRCOOL24K offers up to 24,000 BTU of cooling capacity powered by a rotary compressor with eco-friendly R410a refrigerant. The portable AC unit also features a built-in evaporator, which helps eliminate condensation through a directional exhaust duct; this means you don’t need a drainage system in the server room floor or water collection tank. The SRCOOL24K also dehumidifies and filters the air to provide better air quality and thus better equipment performance. Keeping portability in mind, the unit is powered off of a 208-240v circuit, using a common twistlock L6-20 connector.
For remote management, Tripp Light has included the SRCOOLNET2 network management card preinstalled with the SRCOOL24K, which allows users to easily monitor room temperature, receive alerts, review logs, automate operation and control settings from SNMP, a web browser, SSH or telnet. Other cooling models in the Tripp Lite portfolio support the SRCOOLNET2, although it's offered as an add-on accessory.
SRCOOL24K SmartRack Portable Air-Conditioning Unit Specifications:
- Nominal Input Voltage(s) Supported: 208V AC; 240V AC
- Electrical Consumption: 2560 Watts Max
- Input Connection Type: NEMA L6-20P
- Input Cord Length (m): 2
- User interface, alerts, and controls:
- Front Panel LEDs: Touch sensitive control panel with multiple LEDs and numerical temperature readout
- Shipping Dimensions (hwd / cm):112.01 x 97.79 x 74.55
- Shipping Weight (kg): 110.86
- Unit Dimensions (hwd / cm): 97.03 x 52.07 x 55.12
- Unit Weight (kg): 79.55
- Material of Construction: ABS
- Color: Black
- Form Factors Supported: 0Tower
- Environmental: Cooling Capacity: 24,000 BTU / 7 kW
- Special features:
- Dehumidifier: 56.8 L/h
- Compressor Type: Rotary
- Refrigerant: R410a (Environmentally friendly, Non ozone depleting)
- Refrigerant Amount: 42.33 oz.
- Air Flow: Evaporator = 634 CFM / Condenser = 640 CFM
- Amp Draw Nominal: 13.5A
- Sound Level (Noise): 65dB
- Air Supply Tube Length: 71 inches
- Air Exhaust Tube Length: 118 inches
- Air Exhaust Tube Diameter: 5.16 inches
- Certifications: Tested to UL484; CSA, RoHS
- Product Warranty Period (Worldwide): 1-year limited warranty
Build and Design
With a rugged steel frame and body, the SRCOOL24K portable AC is built to withstand the bumps and bruises of being moved around a datacenter. The unit has a very small 2' x 2' footprint, making it very compact and easy to maneuver. The SRCOOL24K also has locking casters which make it easy to transport, but also keep it firmly in place during operation. For airflow around the unit (for the condensor and evaporator) Tripp Lite suggests that there should be no less than 20 inches between the front and rear from walls or other obstacles.
The top panel of the SRCOOL24K is home to the cool and hot air output vents, a louvered vent insert (which comes pre-Installed) and an SNMP accessory slot SNMP card for the SRCOOLNET2 (also pre-installed). To the right of the ventilation is the control panel, which features a numeric display as well as quiet, operating mode, and fan speed mode LEDS. Also on the control panel are various buttons: the Function button cycles between Cool mode and Dehumidify mode; the Timer button allows you to schedule the AC unit to turn on or off automatically; and the Quiet button activates “quiet control mode,” which regulates the cooling through the timer and microprocessor for quieter operation levels.
The front of the Tripp Lite AC unit is home to the cooling-air filters while the hot-side filters reside at the rear. Both sets of washable filters are covered by sturdy metal ventilation panels. It’s important to keep these filters clean, as problems will inevitable arise if they are left alone.
From a setup perspective the SRCOOL24K is easy to unbox and get operational in a short period of time. It ships bolted to a small pallet, and once lifted off easily rolls to its destination. Installation is as simple as plugging it into a standard L6-20 receptacle and directing the exhaust ducts through a drop ceiling or out a window. Since the model will automatically evaporate condensate, no drainlines are required for normal operation; although they can be connected to limit higher humidity into the space you are venting the chiller.
The SRCOOL24K also uses a NEMA L6-20P plug that connects to a standard 208/240V 20A outlet. In the event of a power failure, the AC unit will restart and resume operation automatically once power has been restored and will use the same settings it was operating with immediately before the power outage occurred.
We measured the units power consumption in our lab with a Xitron XT2640 Multi-Channel Power Analyzer. With the unit off, but the SRCOOLNET2 card active, the unit consumed 1.68W in an idle mode. After being turned on and the fans activated (evaporator and condensor sides) this increased to 238 watts.
We then tracked the power usage from a powered-on state, with the fans set to high, through a cooling cycle. We measured in-rush current in excess of 6,500 watts for a split second (which is completely normal for motors spinning up) which lowered to just under 2,000 watts. Over the course of an 8 minute period you can see the power ramp up slowly before it plateaus at around 2,740 watts with an current draw of 13.41A. Tripp Lite lists a maximum power draw of 2,560 watts and a current draw of 13.5A. Our reading could be slightly higher as a result of using 208V in a 3P commercial setting versus 240V in a 1P residential/light-commercial environment.
A more detailed snapshot during this steady-state operation showed an instantaneous value of 2,739W, using 13.405A with a line voltage of 205.55V. Power-factor measured was 0.9939.
Remote management is handled through the pre-installed SRCOOLNET2 web interface. While the interface is slightly dated needing older Java support, the engine can also be managed through an SSH or Telnet interface. The console offers visibility into current status of the unit, such as temperature and humidity readings and allows the user to adjust the temperature setpoint or fan speeds.
Another added feature is being able to turn the unit completely off remotely in the event additional cooling supply is no longer needed. As long as the unit is still plugged in through, it can be remotely switched back on easily.
Ultimately, we really liked Tripp Lite’s new portable AC unit. Tripp Lite has recently added multiple new models to the cooling lineup, including the SRCOOL7KRM, which we've reviewed, as well as an 18K BTU model sharing the same design as the SRCOOL24K. This adds some competition into the market which for the 1.5-2T chiller category has much higher priced competing platforms. For IT shops that need cooling on a more affordable budget, Tripp Lite offers a very compelling solution. The SRCOOL24K helps our lab keep its cool during very hot summer days as an auxiliary cooling solution, second to our fresh air cooling setup that works quite well for ambient temperatures below 90F. For a constantly changing lab environment the web managed interface lets us keep the system on standby, ready for cooling demands with a very minimal power draw.
Though the java-based remote management is showing some age we still found it intuitive and easy to use. To this end, the interface offers useful visibility into the status of the SRCOOL24K, such as the current room temperature and humidity readings. It also allows us to receive alerts, review logs, adjust the temperature setpoint and fan speeds, and remotely turn the power on and off if need be. As for the physical management of the AC unit, the SRCOOL24K leverages a rugged steel frame and body, which gives us a peace-of-mind that it will be able to withstand inevitable bumps and bruises when being moved around. Coupling all of this with its small footprint and easy maneuverability, Tripp Lite has certainly added another solid addition to their rack cooling portfolio.