I don't know if this is the right forum, but I appreciate the gathering of IT people hanging around, so here goes...
As the subject says, I was thinking if it is possible to use the outside cold air in winter to cool the server room. The benefit would be great as it would drastically reduce the power requirements needed for the air-conditioners.
I guess this would require some form of air-drying..
Any advice is appreciated. Hope this helps someone else too..
Well it mainly depends on your filtration and dehumification. Is your ventilation a complex system? If your A/C is also your filtration and dehumidification then your stuck using your A/C. Almost all ventilation systems can run filtration with air flow as opposed to running A/C, but do you have dehumidifiers or a way to regulate humidity (as is necessary in arid climates) without running A/C? Do you have air handlers that are midly portable units or is this a permanently installed system?
Today's AC units probably already take advantage of the cold air. I'm guessing that the Winter makes them efficient enough not to consider wasting any space on a separate unit. But alas, I'm not in the Heating/Air Conditioning business.
Well what you might want to look into is an air to air heat exchanger. It never takes the outside air and puts it inside but instead takes the air and runs it through a heat exchanger that would take the inside heat and transfer the heat to outside thus giving you cooler inside air. But the thing is they do need special anti icing systems sometimes depending on the climate.
Otherwise you could rig up a vent that pumps heat directly into the room from outside, you'd just want to filter the air and if its forced induction you'd want to have both a feed and a expel so that the room does not have too much positive pressure