Cooling a server cupboard/closet!


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Old 08-30-12, 07:26 AM
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Cooling a server cupboard/closet!

Hi,

I have a cupboard/closet in my office that we use for our four servers and some other IT Equipment. We keep the cupboard door open to the office but the cupboard day temperature is normally around 32c which I feel is way too high for servers. The first thing I want to do to lower the temp is too add a extractor fan to suck out the hot air to the outside.

So I am looking for some advice at what type of extractor fan I should be looking for and how powerful it should be (which is probably a tricky question). Ow and I need the fan to be low noise as it will be next to our office. I had thought of getting a normal bathroom extractor fan but I am not sure if this would be suitable to be running 24/7 at the room temperature I mentioned.

Thanks,
Angus
 
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Old 08-30-12, 07:55 AM
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Welcome to the forum.
Before doing any size calculations for your fans, you need to figure out a couple things.
Is the cabinet/closet a proper enclosed server rack? Sounds like it's was a coat closet originally.
What is the ambiant tempurate of the room?

Assuming it's a converted coat closet, can you add a vent at the bottom of the door and access the top of the closet for another vent (where the fan(s) will be located)?
Is there room for air to move in there, or is it pretty full?

Assuming this is a coat closet with less then 50% of the space consumed, I would add a vent grate to the bottom of the door and a vent in the top of the closet. The vent at the top of the closet should be duct outside or somewhere away from the door of the closet, with an inline fan.
This will draw cooler air from outside the closet, and send the warmed air out the top. The inline fan will move some of the added noise else where.
The Door must be closed for this to work. If the door is open, the fan will simply draw air from the top of the doorway and out the vent. With the door closed, the cool air enters the bottom and leaves the top.
The door vent must be a fair bit larger then the (powered) exhaust.

I'll see if I can get a good ventilation calculation for this type of arrangement.

Alternatively, an air conditioner (portable unit or wall mount) would be more effective, but will be more costly.
 
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Old 08-30-12, 10:44 AM
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Just to add....bath fans are not meant to run 24/7.
 
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Old 09-04-12, 08:06 AM
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passive cooling will probably not be effective, especially if your space is tight and if your server load

i would rather invest in a portable air conditioner like this one (Portable Cooling - Product Information) to prevent shortening my equipment lifecycle.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 03:15 AM
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Thanks for all for your replies.

The cupboard size is 1.2 mx 1.5 mx 2.5 m high with a Equipment load of 2.5 Kw. Around 80% of the cupboard space is taken up by the server rack / equipment. We already have vents in the door and also a vent into the drop down ceiling (but no fan). Cupboard room temp has been around 28c summer months and now currently stands around 24c. I currently keep the server cupboard door fully open into the office for max air flow.

I liked the idea of the APC portable air con unit but the space is so tight in there I dont think it will fit (air con unit would have to be facing the servers almost directly touching the server! So that it would fit and able to shut cupboard door.)
 
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Old 09-21-12, 04:49 AM
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Some clear photos of the whole setup would really help here.

Server enclosures are constructed of wire mesh on the entire front and rear panels.
Would it be possible to at least replace the door with a hinged wire mesh panel.
 
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Old 09-21-12, 06:26 AM
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24'C is fairly reasonable for a server cabinet.
Given space, a fan at the top (ceiling) moving air through the servers will probably be enough short of going with an AC unit. 24-28'C is not all that high. Unlike the really old days (vacuum tube days), this equipment is designed to run at or just a hair above room temp. A refrigerator data center with parkas hanging on a hook for workers is mostly for show now.
 
 

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