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Controlling a refrigeration system to prevent moisture condensation on electronic hardware being cooled

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020014D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Oct-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Oct-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 55K

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This invention pertains to an improved method to protect electronic hardware from condensation damage caused by malfunctioning below dew point cooling systems, particularly a malfunctioning refrigeration cooling unit which is cooling a multi-chip module in a large scale, high performance server.

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  Controlling a refrigeration system to prevent moisture condensation on electronic hardware being cooled

       Protecting logic hardware from refrigeration system fault induced, moisture condensation damage is critical to a computer system's reliability. When a refrigeration system capable of driving the temperature of a logic hardware below dew point experiences a fault (for example a stuck open expansion valve), the refrigeration systems' diagnostics must detect this condition before any moisture condensation induced damage can occur.

     The method disclosed here involves sensing the temperature of the logic hardware, sampling the temperature at a convenient rate, comparing the temperature to an estimated dew-point temperature and taking the difference, raising it to a power and integrating it with respect to time and finally comparing the integral to a predetermined constant based on the system geometry. This method more appropriately takes in to consideration how condensation is formed for any particular geometry when the temperature is not controlled properly, thus, optimally allowing benign thermal transients to pass without false shutdowns, yet protects against condensation damage.

     The formula below is an example implemented for a mainframe cooling subsystem microcode. The temperature of the logic hardware, TMCM, is monitored at regular intervals and compared with a predetermined dew-point temperature Tdp. The following integral is calculated at regular intervals: