Cooling & Heat Management

By Phil Reed – Head of Presales – Comtec

Part 1 Airflow

Information technology equipment mounted in racks cools itself by drawing in air from the data center or network room. If the heated exhaust air is allowed to return to the air inlet of the equipment, an undesirable overheating condition may occur. Data centers and network rooms should be designed to prevent equipment from drawing heated air, and this can be accomplished by good housekeeping practices.

So the main point in effective and efficient cooling of the equipment in a rack is to ensure that the hot exhaust air is not allowed to return to the front.  The airflow should be front to back.

Here are a few pointers to help:

  • Use blanking panels to fill in the spaces between equipment.  Always use blanking panels to fill empty vertical spaces in the rack to maintain proper airflow. Using a rack without blanking panels results in improper cooling that can lead to thermal damage. If any of the vertical space in the rack is not filled by components, the gaps between components cause a change in airflow through the rack and across the components. Cover these gaps with blanking panels to maintain proper airflow.
  • Avoid tower servers in racks as these allows air mix around the sides of server
  • Avoid monitors in racks due to airflow around screen – use a KVM tray where the screen is pulled out and unfolds to front of servers – thereby only using iU of space and no air flow gaps
  • Positioning of PDU’s affect ability to keep power cables out of airflow.
  • Hot spots can occur due to the exhaust paths of the power supplies in the devices of the cabinet so ensure that power and network cables are drawn to the sides and do not block the air flow.   A wall of cables traps the hot air and overheat components in the back of servers.

Comtec can help you with advise on the above and quote for items such as blanking panels.  Please call or talk to the Web Chat advisor.