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Hot air barrier for racks in a Datacenter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000189322D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Nov-05
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Nov-05
Document File: 1 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A device attached to the top of standard equipment racks provides a method of deploying a rack-to-ceiling barrier that prevents the recirculation of hot air from one aisle of a datacenter to an adjacent aisle.

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Hot air barrier for racks in a Datacenter

In many state of the art data centers, equipment racks are organized into a so-called hot-aisle/cold-aisle arrangement. The name reflects the fact that chilled air from an air conditioning unit is introduced into specific (cold) aisles in front of the equipment and heated air that has passed through the equipment exhausts into other specific (hot) aisles where it is collected and routed back to the air conditioning units to be chilled and recirculated.

A problem with this approach is that frequently the heated air behind the equipment cannot be removed quickly enough and therefore heat plumes extend over the top of the racks and down into the cold aisle. Recirculation of heated air in this manner has a number of adverse effects - among them are increased cooling costs, higher equipment failure rates, and less flexibility when dealing with cooling equipment outages.

A device attached to the top of a rack can provide an adjustable height barrier to substantially prevent the recirculation of hot air over the top of an equipment rack.

Such a device could attach to the top of a standard equipment rack and provide a roll of (for example) heavy ply plastic film and a mechanism that allows the film to be lifted above the top of the rack until it touches the ceiling, thus forming a barrier to recirculating air. The mechanism (such as a scissoring (pantograph) arrangement) supports the barri...