With data centres focusing on ways to reduce operating costs, American Power Conversion (APC) is touting an alternative to power hungry air conditioners, with its recently launched row-based cooling systems.

APC's InRow cooling units promise to provide a best-in-breed data center cooling solutions that are self-contained, integrated cooling enclosures that are ideal for network closet and server room environments. They are designed to keep energy costs down while maintaining efficiencies.

APC said its modular row-oriented architecture provides advantages data centers will appreciate, such as flexibility, speed, scalability, reduced power consumption, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), optimum availability, and increased density.

According to APC, air conditioners are the "second-highest consumer of power in the data centre, next only to the IT equipment." And citing a report by Gartner, the company said row-based cooling is touted as the dominant solution in data centre cooling systems come 2011. The design specifically responds to the cooling capacity of specific rows, enabling a row of racks to run a high-density application while another row runs a different application.

APC said its line of cooling systems offers flexibility to be deployed as a fully contained IT environment or as part of a system. With up to 7kW of cooling capacity, a 600mm wide rack enclosure and front and rear containment options, these cooling systems monitor and actively adjust cooling capacity to ensure proper server inlet temperatures.

Some of APC's row-based cooling solutions, such as the APC Airflow Blanking Panels, enable the containment of hot air while cooling the rack and promote proper airflow within an enclosure by occupying unused rack space.