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Efficient DataCenter Airflow from Floor Tile to Rack Inlet

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126520D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-22
Document File: 1 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

DataCenters are becoming increasingly more difficult to power and cool as a result of the newer higher power processors and more ultra dense packaging, i.e BladeCenter. As a result, there are many more complex challenges. These challenges arise from the difficulty in getting the cool air where it is most needed, and then effectively getting the preheated air to the air conditioning units.This invention will focus on the first mentioned issue of fresh air delivery. Air delivery from a raised floor datacenter, provides fresh air through raised floor tiles which are perforated in front of the rack. These perforated tiles range from about 12% open up through about 60% open. The actual datacenter implementation dictates which percent open tile is used and where. The issue with fresh air delivery is that the chilled air comes out of the floor, and is expected to rise up across the front of the rack inlet very nicely and uniformly. This does not always happen; and in fact, gets sucked to other places. As a result, the servers at the top of the rack pull preheated air from the adjacent aisles, or from over the top of the rack, and into their inlets. This is highly undesirable, and can result in catastrophic shutdown of this equipment if its critical temperature is exceeded. Furthermore, this is very inefficient , and results in more resources (dollars) be spent by the customer to add additional chiller units to reduce the aggregate room temperature, while improving airflow supply and return rates. While the industry is grasping at ideas to more effectively manage data center deployment strategies, no known solution fits all customer needs. The work associated with improving and enabling better solutions is current, and new ideas are evolving each and every day. Solutions do exist, but are onesie, twosie type of approaches/implementations, and are not holistic in nature. In order to improve the air delivery to the rack, a door which docks (in essence) to a mating perf tile via guides can be used. This invention is simple in nature, but profound in impact. A special floor tile with guide feature, aligns with the door when closed. The floor tile has a locally concentrated airflow with an open area of 100% directly into the bottom of this door. This airflow is then channeled directly up the front face of the server equipment, lessening the potential to be stolen to neighboring equipment or the air conditioning returns. Claims that can be made with this invention include: 1.) perf tile with guides which align to the door 2.) door with cutout and alignment features to allow for fresh air to enter the door 3.) alignment features act as a baffles to prevent the air from going anywhere but into the door 4.) Angled door face to provide for more uniform inlet to servers up to inlets of all server equipment. The advantage to using this invention, is that it is a more complete, conventional, air delivery solution than is currently available. This is holistic in nature, with a door that can be easily interchanged with existing racks, and then combined with an optimized floor tile for a more concentrated air delivery system.

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Efficient DataCenter Airflow from Floor Tile to Rack Inlet

     As shown in the following sketch, the custom perf tile simply replaces the existing floor tile immediately in front of the rack. A new door is then hung on the existing rack, which has features to mate with the custom floor tile when closed. The guides force the airflow up into the bottom of the door, and prevents this air from going to other places. The door is still perforated to allow for use in applications where raised floor cooling is not possible, and to additionally allow for augmented fresh air delivery as necessary.

     The second picture, depicts what datacenter deployment strategies look like, with perforated tiles used to flood an aisle with chilled air. This does not promote or guarantee localized cooling to the server equipment. In fact; in this picture, the doors have been removed to try and lessen the impedance of the rack door to try and coax the fresh air into the servers better.

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