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Cooling - as in, a room

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Perry, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Perry

    Perry New Member

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    We have a small office with central air conditioning. Our server room has roughly a dozen PCs machines (Windows, Linux, Mac), some on 24/7, some on only when we need them. There's also a 40GbE switch, and a couple other bits of networking and KVM hardware that run 24/7. And we have a fair number of professional video tape decks as well, all of which generate a fair bit of heat when they're running. So it gets hot in there with no AC - easily going above 95F when the air is off. Which it never is because we keep it running at all times.

    In any case, we need a larger office space, but units with central air in our building are rare, and adding central air or even a split system to a space that doesn't have one is too expensive. There is a space opening up on another floor that is already broken up into rooms, some on outside walls. If we were to take this space, we would need to find a solution to cool our server room. Odds are the rest of the space would be ok with a large Window AC, as long as it's not competing with the server room's heat output.

    I'm thinking if we do this, a portable AC with a permanent condensate drain, and a vent to the outside for the hot air makes the most sense. It's reasonably inexpensive for a good one, doesn't take up too much space, and we're good as long as we can keep that room at or below 80F.

    So my question is - is there a good web site that will let me estimate the cooling needs of a server room? Like something where I can put in the number of machines, their usage profile, the size of the room, and get a ballpark of what kind of BTUs we would need an AC to output?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. marcoi

    marcoi Active Member

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    just found this link. might help, just not sure how accurate it will be.
    Server BTU Calculator | How to Calculate Server Heat Load

    either way it should give you an idea. you can also look up models of servers you have and see if they specify BTU output and calculate it that way.
    They also sell server based AC units. a little more expansive then home brand but you can get network adapters for them and monitoring etc.
     
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  3. Perry

    Perry New Member

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    Thanks - all the servers are built in-house, so we have no BTU data for them. Each one is a bit different in terms of CPU/GPU/PSU configuration. I know how many watts the PSU is for each, but the actual usage is going to be much less than the nominal rating for the PSU, depending on load. I guess I can use that as a high end estimate, knowing that if I have a 1KW PSU I'm building in some (a lot of) overhead in my estimate.

    We don't need anything so fancy as what they sell - A cheap wifi thermostat can alert me if there's an issue, so I'm thinking more like a higher end portable AC unit (vs a consumer model - something that can handle the load on a more or less constant basis).
     
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  4. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    FWIW I use a floor standing AC unit in one of my offices it's a Penguino from Costco Warehouse Store, I have 3 but the 2 'newer gen' which are rated higher BTU actually cool LESS than the older unit.

    When it's in the 80s outside it will keep my 400sq/ft office ~66-70 depending if I open or close the door, how many servers run, etc...

    This is only an 8,000 BTU unit. I've been EXTREMELY impressed with it for only $450, and I also run it 10-24hrs for 1-3 months in summer depending on temp, for the last 8 years... I'd say I've gotten my usage out of it and still plan to keep using it :) I have another smaller 5,000 BTU window unit that I've had for about 17 years now, pulled it out of storage and still works too :)

    I don't think you're going to be buying an industrial AC window unit if a split unit wasn't in your budget, upgrading from a home/residential to a true industrial AC is not cheap at all.

    I plan to go to a split unit in the future, but I can do the install so only unit price is a concern.

    Not sure where you are at but here efficiency is a huge deal, and some of the newer units are VERY VERY efficient while cheaper lower end models are not so pay attention to that for sure. Obviously not a concern if power is cheap there though ;)
     
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  5. Joel

    Joel Active Member

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    Sounds like a killawatt is in order. $20-25 to be able to figure out exactly how much power your computers are actually using.

    Once that is known, you can then size your AC unit accordingly. 300w of actual power draw adds 1000BTUs of heat. In this case you could actually slightly undersize, as the central air can share the load as well.

    Also, be sure to pay attention to how much power you're pulling from the wall. A 20 amp circuit should really be 16 for actual loads.
     
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