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Green Computing Thread, No air-con in my new server room ......!!!! in Technical; Some of you may remember that I have an ongoing saga about the server room in our new school only ...
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    kaphc's Avatar
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    No air-con in my new server room ......!!!!

    Some of you may remember that I have an ongoing saga about the server room in our new school only having an external door. Well, I've managed to convince the head of the security issues regarding this and she is talking to the builders about it to see what can be done.

    So, while I'm on a roll, I set out my basic shopping list for the server room including a UPS and air-conditioning.

    I was told (and this is not a joke) - "We're not allowed to have an air-conditioning unit because the school is going to be as eco-friendly as possible and so there will be some sort of ventilation built in."

    Think I am going to hijack the bloomin' server room, put padded walls in it, sit there and just say "Wibble".

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Then I'd insist on a GOOD air-circulation system, maybe water cooled.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Air source heat pump in their extracting the warmth and using it to heat the rest of the school.

    Ben

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Just trying to work out what is less eco-friendly ... an air-con unit to ensure all your kit actually runs or having to repeatedly replace equipment after it has burnt out due to overheating? The greenness of running air-con is far higher than repurchasing servers (think of the CO2 creating during construction, the packaging and then the transportation).

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaphc View Post
    "We're not allowed to have an air-conditioning unit because the school is going to be as eco-friendly as possible and so there will be some sort of ventilation built in."
    Use water-cooling, with the waste heat used to heat the rest of the school?

    --
    David Hicks

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    john's Avatar
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    How about this as an off-set option (as proven today by our electric bill for September). Your new school, you will run fully virtualised servers and this will save a large amount of electric (we have seen a reduction of around 5000 kwh on our electric when comparing this September to last September and we cannot find anything different and we have actually been open 3 days more in September this year than last! I'm not saying all 5000 are down to us, but we did go from 14 to 3 (plus random odd bits EG Smoothwall UTM, a NAS box etc)) That should reduce that area very nicely and is very green (we are hoping to impress the DEC assessor this week!) so that should surely off-set it. We have also turend the Air Con up from 19c where it used to live pre-virtualsation to now running at 23C and the Server Room is still nice and cool and nothing is showing itself as too hot or anything.

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    gaz350's Avatar
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    How far along is your new college? we had similar issues during the design phase.

    Server room was originally installed next to the Boiler Room and the Kitchens on the other side with external windows and at the furthest end of the building, Sprinkler system, water and drainage pipes running through the roof space and no Air con!!!!

    Now, its at the heart of the building, no external walls, no building services in the roof and in the same part of the building as 50% of the users oh and Air Con in the server room aswell as our 4 Comms Rooms. Just keep at it and you should get it.

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    steve's Avatar
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    We've been told this too for a new build we're involved with - no air-con in new council buildings.

    Just a recipe for disaster.

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    If we switch our aircon off in our server room it take just under 2 hours for them to shutdown immediatley when they get hot to preserve them form being fried

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    To be fair, it's not a recipe for disaster having no air-con, the building just has to be designed with it in mind that this room must be adequately cooled.

    Best solution to please both parties in my opinion would be:
    Air-con with a temperature sensor to come on depending on the temperature/wind speed outside (specially for hot summer days), combined with good constant air flow throughout the room from two outer walls means there is no need for 24/7 cooling.

    Obviously that requires the architect and building planners to design the whole thing around it, with proper research going in to the cooling of the room during non-aircon times.....something that will never happen because they all have better things to do...like making sure there new office is twice as big as it needs to be and what colour the new blinds should be :/ For most of us we have server rooms surrounded by 4 inner walls which heat up to an insane amount the second air-con dies, but in a new build then it's a part of the build that needs to be looked in with FAAAAAR more thought than it is ever given.

    EDIT: oh and obviously you always have to factor in the fact that builders WILL do it wrong or miss something first time no matter how well it's planned

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    Pyroman's Avatar
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    What temps do you have your servers to shut down at? And which temperature do you go by? CPU temp, HDD temp?

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    I'm going to move this to the Green Computing forum, as it's turning into a very interesting topic.

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    Assuming you can ensure a good supply of air cooler enough than room ambient, you don't (strictly speaking) need chillers. You do need something to take excess moisture out of the air.

    Most kit has an operating temperature range, often split up by inidividual components (say cpu can tolerate more heat than disks). Ours begins shutting down if it gets within 4 degrees of the upper limit (and it mails/texts/squawks at me long before then) because that's a sign the air-con has failed / a fan has failed. Read the manufacturer specs and set your shutdown temps accordingly.

    Failure of a non-redundant fan causes a shutdown too.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    would something like this be adequate as part of a new server rack and room layout ?
    to get around the issue of not being allowed aircon. remove/cool as much heat as possible with the rear door heat exchanger, meaning your AHU's or whatever outside air system you have instead of the AC isn't left with the task that it may not be up to the task of doing...?

    IBM System x - Cooling and accessories portfolio

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Interesting thread!!!

    We've had to have air con in there as the building was never designed to be able to keep our server room cool (it was not a server room when it was built, it was a cloakroom!!!).

    Heat exchanger is probably going to be just as expensive to run / environmentally unfriendly as room air con. Modern air con's are very efficient, my mitsubishi server room air con only uses 700watt at full pelt which is amazing really (in contrast a cheap £200 portable air con unit uses 1400 watts) plus as a brucie bonus it can if you need it actuall become a heater, and it's even more efficient at heating than it is at cooling!!

    Realistically the only way you are going to be able to get away without air con is either if the room/building is specifically designed to move large amounts of air through it, or if you use water cooling of some kind to recycle heat to other areas of the building. This is hideously expensive, it is however A*++ in green terms.

    Butuz

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