Abstract

Airside economizers lower the operating cost of data centers by reducing or eliminating mechanical cooling. It, however, increases the risk of reliability degradation of IT equipment due to contaminants. IT Equipment manufacturers have tested equipment performance and guarantee the reliability of their equipment in environments within ISA 71.04-2013 severity level G1 and the ASHRAE recommended temperature-RH envelope. IT Equipment manufacturers require data center operators to meet all the specified conditions consistently before fulfilling warranty on equipment failure. To determine the reliability of electronic hardware in higher severity conditions, field data obtained from real data centers are required. In the present study, a corrosion classification coupon experiment as per ISA 71.04-2013 was performed to determine the severity level of a research data center located in an industrial area of hot and humid Dallas. The temperature-RH excursions were analyzed based on time series and weather data bin analysis using trend data for the duration of operation. After some period, a failure was recorded on two PDUs located in the hot aisle. The damaged hardware and other hardware were evaluated, and cumulative corrosion damage study was carried out. The hypothetical estimation of the end of life of components is provided to determine free air-cooling hours for the site. There was no failure of even a single server operated with fresh air-cooling shows that using evaporative/free air cooling is not detrimental to IT equipment reliability. This study, however, must be repeated in other geographical locations to determine if the contamination effect is location dependent.

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