Two ways to cool your Server/Network Racks without using a Precision/Window AC

Its not a good idea to cool your server rooms using window air-conditioning systems or split air-conditioning systems. Its recommended to use a Precision Air Conditioning System as they are made for reliable & 24×7 operation over a long period of time (often months together). But these precision air conditioning systems are quite expensive. So, if you are running a small facility, the costs for cooling your server rooms could run quite high (both capital costs as well as running costs).

Even though you may have a big server room, cooling is only required for servers/ network equipments and other heat generating devices which are concentrated within a rack (mostly). In this article, let us look at two ways of partially air-conditioning network rack/ servers as an alternative to air-conditioning the whole server room.

Air-Conditioned Server Racks:

The servers and networking equipments that generate all the heat in the server rooms are anyway kept within a rack, so why not use an air-conditioning system within the server rack / attached to the server rack that focuses its cooling, within the network rack?

There are two advantages to this approach – The amount of cooling (and hence the power consumption) required to cool just the network rack is much lesser than what maybe required to cool the whole server room! Second, the air-conditioning units are compact enough to often fit within the rack or be attached to its side, thereby saving a lot of space.

These Air-conditioned Server Racks often come with sealed doors / panels to retain the cooling. They may come with ducts which needs to be taken out of the server room (through some outlet on the wall, window, etc) to empty the hot air that comes out of the A/C unit.

They often come with blower units that keeps circulating the cold air throughout the server rack to ensure effective cooling. They often have a system to evaporate the water to ambient air (through the duct) so that there is no water dripping in to a drain tube from the rack. This might be required for an IT/ Server room.

Some of these racks come with a temperature display and they maybe able to auto-regulate the temperature as per the user preferences. One can expect these server racks to provide a cooling capacity between 10,000 to 20,000 BTU units.

One such Air Conditioned Server rack can be found here.

Portable Air-Conditioning Unit:


Tripp Lite SRCOOL12K Portable Air Conditioning Unit - 12000 BTU. STAND ALONE SPOT AIR COOLER 120V FOR RACK EQUIPMENT 12K BTU AIRCND. 12000BTU - Tower

The portable air-conditioning units are small / limited capacity air-conditioning units that are designed to provide cooling to specific hot-spots in a facility. One of the applications of this unit could be to cool your server/ network rack using a cooling duct that goes from this unit to directly inside the rack.

The advantage of using such a portable air-conditioning unit is its low capital and recurring expenditures, cooling only the areas that are required to be cooled and the possibility of keeping this air-conditioning unit outside the IT/ server room so that it does not affect other equipments in the room in case of any explosion / burning of compressor, which is a major issue with Split-AC.

These units might also be used as off-hour / stand-by cooling systems as they are pretty inexpensive and can provide a cooling capacity of around 10,000 to 15,000 BTU. Often, built-in evaporator evaporates the condensed air directly into the exhaust air stream. You can get more details on the features/ price of these systems by clicking on their image given above. Be sure to check with the manufacturer / their representative on whether this unit is the right one for your environment / application and if they can be used for 24×7 operation.

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