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Data Center Handbook by Hwaiyu Geng

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16Particulate and Gaseous Contaminationin Data Centers

Taewon Han

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

16.1 Introduction

Are IT equipment failure rates higher for data centers cooled with outside air compared to “closed” data centers? Data center cooling efficiency has a large impact on overall electricity use. A simple cooling solution is to implement free cooling, using outside air to provide direct cooling of IT equipment. However, many owners and operators are hesitant to use this because they are concerned that the use of outside air for cooling increases the risk of IT equipment failure due to airborne contamination, either particulate or gaseous contamination. A number of research studies have investigated the corrosion phenomena of IT hardware components at varied conditions [1–8]. IT environment control in data centers is subject to many regulations and guidelines such as ISO 14644-1 [9], ISA-71.04 [10], and ASHRAE papers [11–14]. In fact, in greater part of these papers, the authors have repeatedly published information about specific technical issues (e.g., corrosion on circuit boards) or have tried to help designers and operators manage their data centers more effectively. However, finding actual hardware failure rates comparing outside air-cooled to traditional closed data centers for limited test conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, gas concentration, type, mixture in air contaminants) is difficult. Finding the root cause of ...

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