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research-article

Identification and Characterization of Particulate Contaminants found at a Data Center Using Airside Economization

[+] Author and Article Information
Jimil M. Shah

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

Abel Misrak

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019
abel.misrak@mavs.uta.edu

Dr. Dereje Agonafer

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019
agonafer@uta.edu

Mike Kaler

Mestex, a Division of Mestek, Inc., 4830 Transport Drive, Dallas, TX 75247
MKaler@mestex.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043481 History: Received November 01, 2018; Revised March 14, 2019

Abstract

Contamination due to the use of airside economizer has become a major issue that could cost companies revenue. This issue will continue to rise as server components become smaller, densely packed and as companies move into more polluted environments. Contaminants with small particles, usually less than 10 microns, are not noticeable, yet it is these particles those are most likely to get to areas where they can cause damage. Dust exists in suspension in air and settles on surfaces. The dust mainly contains two components: salts and metallic particles. The salts may be neutral or corrosive and the nature of the salt depends on the deliquescent humidity. For metallic particles, surveys must be performed in various data centers, which would help to determine the limits in terms of weight per unit area and particle size distribution. It is necessary to first identify those contaminants that directly affect the IT equipment in the data center. In this research, a real-world data center utilizing airside economization in an ANSI/ISA Classified G2 environment was chosen for the study. Servers were removed, and qualitative study of cumulative corrosion damage was carried out. The particulate contaminants were collected from different locations of a server and material characterization was performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The analysis from these results helps to explain the impact of the contaminants on IT equipment reliability.

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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