Cooling a travelling server

iFunction

New Member
Sep 7, 2016
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Good Morning,

I am new to this forum but it looked like the best place to be for some of my future questions.

For the moment though, just this. I am building a small rack server for a race team that will travel around with us from track to track, it is just an entry server, as all it is running is a simple LAMP server to get automotive consumables data down to a single location in the pit lane, and also it will be supplying our internet wirelessly.

So in the rack will be a 1u or maybe 2u server, an AP manager and a UPS and I was planning on input and exhaust fans to get a through put of air to cool. However, some of the places we go to are really hot, e.g. Bahrain which is currently 45 degrees Centigrade in the shade. Will a small server be able to cope with this kind of running, or am I going to have to look at a more in depth cooling system, and if so, what is the best way of keeping the temp down other than putting the whole lot in a fridge?

Any pointers on this would be very much appreciated. I am currently just in design and spec mode, and this is somewhat of a stumbling block for me at present.

Kind regards
iFunc
 

Taco

New Member
May 30, 2015
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The 1U form factor is great for data centers, because one wants to put as many servers in the space as possible.
But you are not concerned with that; you are concerned with cooling.
As such a larger size chassis with more cooling possibilities may be better for you.

I would take some time to research which fans I am using, how much air they move.
Are you worried about dust etc?

Whether the ambient temparature would worry me depends on the hardware that you expect to use. It wouldn't help if the CPU already runs hot by itself.

Fridges lead to condensation.
 

fractal

Active Member
Jun 7, 2016
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Let me see if I got this right.

You need a server with very modest load. A simple LAMP server with wireless.
You need to handle a range of environmental situations.
You need to handle international power.

Did I get that right?

If so, I would look at automotive computers.. These typically accept 8-30 volts input. You can find plenty of "bricks" that will drive them from any international power. They are typically rated for operating in the trunk of a car so will handle the environmental situations. They will also survive being shipped.

I would strongly advise AGAINST a data center computer for this application. They are not designed for this purpose and won't tolerate the heat or the frequent shipping.

You might also consider systems sold into the entertainment industry. Those get bounced all around the world and stuffed in hot corners and expected to work as well. But, gear for the entertainment industry rarely gets subjected to the rigors of a pit environment. People who handle them are trained in handling electrical gear (lights, amps), not handling greasy tools.
 
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Scott Laird

Active Member
Aug 30, 2014
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If your needs are small enough, then you might even be able to get away with something like a Raspberry Pi. I doubt they're rated for high-temperature operation, but they draw so little power that you could probably do crazy things like throwing them in a cooler with a bag of ice (and a lot of water-proofing). Plus you could keep a couple dozen spares on hand for less then it'd cost to cool a rack mounted 1U server.
 

TLN

Active Member
Feb 26, 2016
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I'd throw a laptop idea.
Workstation, like HP or Dell.
Gaming one - they're powerful and have nice cooling.
Rugged laptop from panasonic - able to work in poor conditions.


Easy to transport (Will be 10 pounds, but anyway), already have UPS, all international power standards and so on.
 
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