Qualitative Study of Cumulative Corrosion Damage of Information Technology Equipment in a Data Center Utilizing Air-Side Economizer Operating in Recommended and Expanded ASHRAE Envelope

[+] Author and Article Information
Jimil M. Shah

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: jimil.shah@mavs.uta.edu

Oluwaseun Awe, Betsegaw Gebrehiwot, Dereje Agonafer

Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019

Prabjit Singh

IBM Corporation,
2455 South Road,
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Naveen Kannan, Mike Kaler

Mestex, a Division of Mestek, Inc.,
4830 Transport Drive,
Dallas, TX 75247

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received December 16, 2016; final manuscript received March 24, 2017; published online April 24, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Justin A. Weibel.

J. Electron. Packag 139(2), 020903 (Apr 24, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: EP-16-1143; doi: 10.1115/1.4036363 History: Received December 16, 2016; Revised March 24, 2017

Deployment of airside economizers (ASEs) in data centers is rapidly gaining acceptance to reduce cost of cooling energy by reducing hours of operation of computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units. Airside economization has associated risk of introducing gaseous and particulate contamination into data centers, thus degrading the reliability of information technology (IT) equipment. The challenge is to determine reliability degradation of IT equipment if operated in environmental conditions outside American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommended envelope with contamination severity levels higher than G1. This paper is a first attempt at addressing this challenge by studying the cumulative corrosion damage to IT equipment operated in an experimental modular data center (MDC) located in an industrial area with measured level of air contaminants in ISA severity level G2. This study serves several purposes including: correlating IT equipment reliability to levels of airborne corrosive contaminants and studying degree of reliability degradation when IT equipment is operated outside ASHRAE recommended envelope at a location with high levels of contaminants. Reliability degradation of servers exposed to outside air via an airside economizer was determined qualitatively by examining corrosion of components in these servers and comparing the results to corrosion of components in other similar servers that were stored in a space where airside economization was not used. In the 4 years of the modular data center's servers' operation, none of the servers failed. This observation highlights an opportunity to significantly save data center cooling energy by allowing IT equipment to operate outside the currently recommended and allowable ASHRAE envelopes and outside the ISA severity level G1.

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Fig. 1

A common data center power allocation

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Fig. 2

Air-side economizer hours for data centers

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Fig. 3

ASHRAE temperature guidelines showing the recommended and allowable ranges

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Fig. 4

The laboratory data center (site: 1)

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Fig. 5

Research modular data center at Dallas industrial area (front view) (site: 2)

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Fig. 6

Research modular data center (side view)

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Fig. 7

IT pod airflow direction

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Fig. 9

Cold aisle rack arrangement for better air distribution

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Fig. 10

Model of the cooling unit

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Fig. 11

Psychrometric chart regions based on the recommended envelope

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Fig. 12

Psychrometric chart regions based on class A1 allowable region

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Fig. 13

Chart I: TMY3 hourly weather data for DFW AP

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Fig. 14

Chart II: TMY3 hourly weather data for DFW AP

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Fig. 15

Time series for CA temp and %RH (daily)

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Fig. 16

Time series for CA temp and %RH (daily)

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Fig. 17

Time series for CA temperature (yearly)

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Fig. 18

Time series for CA relative humidity (yearly)

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Fig. 19

Measuring the severity level of MDC

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Fig. 20

Field exposed corrosion coupons

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Fig. 21

Stuck fine dust and carbon particles on hood

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Fig. 22

Accumulated dust on PCB and copper

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Fig. 23

Lodged dust on heat sinks




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