+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
Hardware Thread, Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks? in Technical; As I've mentioned before we have rubbish power. The power went off yesterday for 3/4 hr, then for 10 minutes ...
  1. #1


    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the server room, with the lead pipe.
    Posts
    4,652
    Thank Post
    275
    Thanked 780 Times in 607 Posts
    Rep Power
    224

    Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    As I've mentioned before we have rubbish power.

    The power went off yesterday for 3/4 hr, then for 10 minutes and then again from 10pm last night until 9.30 this morning. Depending on what happens today, the school might be closed until the current problem (damp in substation / cabling) is fixed.

    I had to wait for the UPS' to have sufficient charge before I could restart the network (enough power to restart on battery and safely power off on battery of necessary).

    The "getting power company to do something" is still an ongoing thing. We need to beef up the server rooms battery backup and I was wondering whether it would be more sensible just to use battery racks, since they're easier to expand.

    Has anyone got this setup and (assuming everything was installed by a qualified electrician) what are the practical and health & safety implications of having battery rack in the server room.

    We'd be using gel cells preferably, but maybe truck / tractor batteries.

  2. #2


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    339

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    but maybe truck / tractor batteries.
    These can give off Hydrogen gas when charging.

  3. #3
    DMcCoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    3,468
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 496 Times in 436 Posts
    Rep Power
    113

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    They might explode? Thats an issue I would have thought.

    Are they designed for prolonged high drain use? Temperature limits? Surge protection? Overload protection? Voltage regulation? Emergency shutdown (See overload :P)?

    Look at some Enterprise UPS equipment. Get it wrong and you could fry the lot (or kill someone).

  4. #4


    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the server room, with the lead pipe.
    Posts
    4,652
    Thank Post
    275
    Thanked 780 Times in 607 Posts
    Rep Power
    224

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    The reason we were looking at wet cells was better performance / longer life than gel cells. A bit of research has turned up a better gel cell that uses fibreglass matting to prevent the bubbles. It doesn't mention whether the hydrogen issue is dealt with. Since it has valves, I'm guessing not.

    The server room does have exceptionally good airflow (2x redundant air-con units), but I'm not sure whether that's sufficient. I assume vent systems to deal with flammable gas are a specialist item?

    The cells would be designed for the job - I use "truck battery" loosely and everything would be done to code - we don't mess about where the servers are concerned.

    Re: enterprise UPS equipment. Normally it _is_ a UPS wired up to battery trays or a big cabinet with battery trays inside with the UPS electronics.

    Battery trays just seem more sensible in terms of expandability.

  5. #5

    Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Fylde, Lancs, UK.
    Posts
    11,803
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 583 Times in 504 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    224

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    What about a diesel generator?

  6. #6
    Irazmus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    316
    Thank Post
    13
    Thanked 22 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    23

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Or a wind turbine?

  7. #7

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,885
    Thank Post
    518
    Thanked 2,489 Times in 1,930 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    839

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    What about a diesel generator?
    This is what I'd be looking at if our power was that bad. Have a generator that auto-kicks in when the power goes down (with UPS's to take the strain until it kicks in).

  8. #8
    DMcCoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    3,468
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 496 Times in 436 Posts
    Rep Power
    113

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    The reason we were looking at wet cells was better performance / longer life than gel cells. A bit of research has turned up a better gel cell that uses fibreglass matting to prevent the bubbles. It doesn't mention whether the hydrogen issue is dealt with. Since it has valves, I'm guessing not.

    The server room does have exceptionally good airflow (2x redundant air-con units), but I'm not sure whether that's sufficient. I assume vent systems to deal with flammable gas are a specialist item?

    The cells would be designed for the job - I use "truck battery" loosely and everything would be done to code - we don't mess about where the servers are concerned.

    Re: enterprise UPS equipment. Normally it _is_ a UPS wired up to battery trays or a big cabinet with battery trays inside with the UPS electronics.

    Battery trays just seem more sensible in terms of expandability.
    Is the aircon going to be on during a power cut?

    My server room heats up very fast when the air con is off.

  9. #9
    DMcCoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    3,468
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 496 Times in 436 Posts
    Rep Power
    113

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Oh, my aircon unit takes 90 amps to start, so you will need big power if you do want to run them :P

  10. #10

    Andrew_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Winchester
    Posts
    2,993
    Thank Post
    64
    Thanked 379 Times in 289 Posts
    Rep Power
    160

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Air Con is no use in this context for a more fundamental reason. The vast majority of units siply re-circulate chilled air. This will not clear any gas.

  11. #11

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,592
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 769 Times in 598 Posts
    Rep Power
    181

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Surely, during a power cut, there will be no PCs that require the servers

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    783
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 33 Times in 31 Posts
    Rep Power
    24

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Move the servers to rack space in a hosted environment and let them deal with the power issues!

  13. #13


    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the server room, with the lead pipe.
    Posts
    4,652
    Thank Post
    275
    Thanked 780 Times in 607 Posts
    Rep Power
    224

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    @All
    Yes, I realise that we're close to the "Sod it, lets turn everything off and go to the pub" stage of the game and we're reaching the point that we've done all we sensibly can.

    This isn't a "make a super-redundant zero downtime solution", it's a "what's the best way of ensuring we have a bit more juice?" question.

    @Geoff
    We've considered a generator, but the server room is on the first floor and in the middle of the school buildings with either classrooms or the carpark around it. I'm not sure where we'd put it.

    @Wind turbine
    We already have one actually, powers some stuff in physics. (not enough output for a server room).

    @aircon
    Server room stays cool enough for about 3/4 hr without aircon.

    @hydrogen + aircon
    I didn't think it would work. We have a battery rack for emergency lights somewhere, I'll have to see how that's set up.

    @Ric
    Yes, but servers are like old people....... Bloody sims server was sulking about its array when it came back up. Nothing wrong with the disks and it shut down cleanly on battery - still had to rebuild the array once I'd convinced it the disk was good.

  14. #14

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,592
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 769 Times in 598 Posts
    Rep Power
    181

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    @Ric
    Yes, but servers are like old people....... Bloody sims server was sulking about its array when it came back up. Nothing wrong with the disks and it shut down cleanly on battery - still had to rebuild the array once I'd convinced it the disk was good.
    Perhaps you could set different timeouts for the shutdown of diffeetn servers. Newer servers could be shutdown after only a couple of mins, leaving more juice for the older servers to run longer.

    It might also be worth replacing the old servers with new ones that use ULV processors, therefore requiring less juice in th first place.

  15. #15

    john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    10,362
    Thank Post
    1,499
    Thanked 1,053 Times in 922 Posts
    Rep Power
    303

    Re: Practical and H&S implications of using battery racks?

    Have a look at the MGE/APS Solutions (MGE and APC Merged over half term) you get some great units there. You buy battery modules and the MG ones seem to last forever without going wrong or leaking unlike the APC ones that in the larger ones always seem to end up splitting or leaking. You can get them into the 100's of KVs so plenty for a school comms room.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Geeky Practical Jokes
    By chrisa in forum General Chat
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 9th July 2007, 12:43 PM
  2. Job Interview - Practical / Written tests
    By googlemad in forum General Chat
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 25th February 2007, 03:26 PM
  3. What do you do for an ICT Technician Practical Test?
    By mrforgetful in forum How do you do....it?
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 19th December 2006, 11:50 AM
  4. Laptop Battery Life
    By SimpleSi in forum Hardware
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 26th January 2006, 07:37 PM
  5. Battery Life
    By Mano in forum Hardware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 18th November 2005, 09:06 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •