Browse Prior Art Database

Telco Server Air Filter Monitor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019252D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Sep-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Sep-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 81K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system for monitoring and accurately determining when an air filter for a server needs to be replaced. By using a combination of LEDs, photodiodes, and an operational amplifier circuit, the system's air filters can be "looked" at continuously and the system can alert administrators before temperatures become harmful to the server by integrating the monitor into existing system management schemes.

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Telco Server Air Filter Monitor

      The Telco Server Air Filter Monitor (TSAFM) is designed to check a server's air filters and report blockage that would reduce airflow through the system. It can easily hook into and enhance existing system management solutions, and of course is low-cost using common parts already used in industry.

  A good way to determine if an air filter is clogged is to hold it up to the light and try to look through it. This TSAFM would do just that. The TSAFM would be made up of an array of Photo Diodes, and array of light emitting diodes (LED), and an operational amplifier (opamp) circuit. The LEDs would serve as the light, the photo diodes would serve as the "eyes", and the opamp circuit would serve to translate the current change caused by the photo diode into a varying voltage that could be detected by a server's system management. Much like a TV remote control, both the LED and photo diode would operate in the IR range of light as to have immunity to the effects visible light could possibly have depending on location of the server and chassis design.

  The flow of operation and placement in relationship to the server can be seen in Fig. 1. The LEDs are placed on one side of the air filter to be a set of beacons to the set of corresponding photo diodes that are placed in a location that would not prevent normal dust collection against opposite side of the filter. In other words, the LED and photo diode are offset from one another in relation to the direction of airflow. Once the filter becomes obstructed enough to block the LED's light emissions, the current flow through the photo diode will decrease. This decrease in current will cause a corresponding change in voltage generated by the opamp circuit. This variation in voltage can be fed to an on-board system-monitoring chip, like the LM87 or ADM1027. This information can be used with other system environmental sensors (i.e. fan speed, temperature) to enable not...