By: Ed Meier, Vice President of Strategic Solutions, Electronic Environments Co.
It’s that time of year again…winter is almost upon us. For many data center operators, this means preparing servers and other equipment for the colder temperatures and low winter humidity that lie ahead. Environmental adjustments are critical to maintaining stable operating conditions and the safety of your equipment, and as such, it’s important to be prepared.
When researching the proper measures to maintain a facility, at the forefront of any data center owner or operator’s mind are two things – reliability and low cost. Whatever method of maintenance used, it must ensure total reliability without incurring hefty capital or operational expenses. Maintaining proper humidity levels and effectively preparing for the cold months ahead enables operators to ensure their facilities can achieve optimal availability with low operational costs.
One of the many reasons why these preparations are necessary is the increased static electricity that can build up and discharge in drier climates. As low humidity air moves throughout the facility, the electricity and electrostatic discharge, known as ESD, can damage computer equipment, blow fuses, and wreak havoc across multiple fronts. These problems are avoidable with the proper equipment and maintenance, which also ensure that facilities stay within the recommended American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) humidity and temperature guidelines for reliable operations.
Ensuring that equipment, which may have remained inactive during the summer and fall months, is fully functional and able to operate with higher frequency at peak efficiency is also critical. Identification of issues within equipment ahead of time can save a lot of headaches, and in more severe instances, can save facilities from irreparable damage. Water leakage resulting from blocked drainage can also severely damage not only the units themselves, but all surrounding IT equipment. Furthermore, malfunctioning humidification equipment can cause excess water vapor, deteriorating components of a cooling unit. Cost savings are also important, and monitoring and changing of set points in a system can cut down on excess costs over time.
For years at Electronic Environments Co. (EEC), we have been providing customers with the right information and know-how to prepare themselves for colder weather. As we face these winter weather months ahead, EEC recommends taking advantage of our humidification system inspections, which include diagnostics, checking and cleaning condensation pumps, confirming the viability of set points, examining overloads, removing and cleaning humidifier pans to avoid build-up, adjusting pan water levels, calibrating humidity sensors, and maintaining water filtration systems that feed humidifiers.
We are passionate about helping our customers achieve the highest levels of reliability and cost-effective operations year-round. In the harsher months, this continuous need for maintenance becomes particularly critical, so grab your shovels, put on some warm gloves, and make sure that your data center is ready to face the cold head on.