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Consideration for Running Data Center at High Temperatures and Using Free Air Cooling

[+] Author Affiliations
Yongzhan He, Guofeng Chen, Jiajun Zhang, Tianyu Zhou, Tao Liu, Pinyan Zhu, Chao Liu

Baidu Corporation, Beijing, China

Nishi Ahuja

Intel Corporation, DuPont, WA

Paper No. IPACK2015-48169, pp. V001T09A014; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems collocated with the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels
  • Volume 1: Thermal Management
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 6–9, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5688-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


The advent of the big data era, the rapid development of mobile internet, and the rising demand of cloud computing services require increasingly more compute capability from their data center. This compute increase will most likely come from higher rack and room power densities or even construction of new Internet data centers. But an increase in a data center’s business-critical IT equipment (servers, hubs, routers, wiring patch panels, and other network appliances), not to mention the infrastructure needed to keep these devices alive and protected, encroaches on another IT goal: to reduce long-term energy usage. Large Internet Data Centers are looking at every possible way to reduce the cooling cost and improve efficiency. One of the emerging trends in the industry is to move to higher ambient data center operation and use air side economizers. However, these two trends can have significant implications for corrosion risk in data centers.

The prevailing practice surrounding the data centers has often been “The colder, the better.” However, some leading server manufacturers and data center efficiency experts share the opinion that data centers can run far hotter than they do today without sacrificing uptime, and with a huge savings in both cooling related costs and CO2 emissions. Why do we need to increase the temperatures? To cool data center requires huge refrigeration system which is energy hog and also cost of cooling infrastructure, maintenance cost and operation cost are heavy cost burden.

Ahuja et al [1] studied cooling path management in data center at typical operating temperature as well as higher ambient operating temperatures. High Temperatures and Corrosion Resistance technology will reduce the refrigeration output and how this innovation will open up new direction in data centers.

Note that, HTA is not to say that the higher the better. Before embracing HTA two keys points need to be addressed and understood. Firstly, server stability along with optimal temperature from data center perspective. Secondly, corrosion resistant technology. With Fresh air cooling the server has to bear with the seasons and diurnal variation of temperatures and these can be over 35 degree C, therefore to some extent, we have to say, HTA design is the premise of corrosion resistant design.

In this paper, we present methods to realize precise HTA operation along with corrosive resistant technology. This is achieved through an orchestrated collaboration between the IT and cooling infrastructures.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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