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A method to quantify system cooling configuration by measuring pressure differentials

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127003D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-17
Document File: 2 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Today’s blades run hotter and are very space constrained. Keeping the processor from overheating is very challenging. Vapor phase heat sinks have already replaced the simple solid piece of metal and sufficient air flow is very critical for all system components. It is not practical to add air flow sensors to each component to assure that there is sufficient air flow (too big and costly). There are a number of faults that can effect air flow (i.e. clogged vents, dirty fans, missing filler plugs, etc.), but none of these faults can be efficiently detected. An efficient method of assuring that each component is getting sufficient air flow is needed.

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A method to quantify system cooling configuration by measuring pressure differentials

     Airflow and pressure is comparable to current and voltage. Like measuring voltage across a resistor to calculate current, one can measure pressure difference between two points to calculate the air flow . The air flow through a blade/module is a function of it internal resistance and the atmospheric pressures at the end points. Thus, the air flow of a blade/module is a function of the room's atmospheric pressure and internal pressures of the BladeCenter. If the above is true, then we may be able to implement smarter more efficient blower controls. The blower may only need to run fast enough to assure that certain pressures are obtained to get the desired air flow. The MM could use the air flow and pressure readings to help diagnose thermal issues (i.e. clogged vents, dirty fans, missing filler plugs, etc).

Some Key Points:

Use pressure sensors to determine air flow

Use pressure sensors to optimize blower speed Use pressure sensors to detect system configuration faults: missing panels, dirty blowers, clogged panels, etc.

Description:

Place pressure sensors at the front and rear of the blade/module.

To calibrate the sensors the MM could shut down (or slow down) the blowers for a very short time to measure the static reading.

The expected airflow for the blades can be measured, calculated, and tested at design time.

Altitude can also be factored in to help tune the reading.

If the...