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Compact fans in server cooling

Compact fans are highly versatile and utilised in a wide variety of applications. One that is quickly gaining in importance is server rack cooling in data centres.

Compact fans in server cooling

Data centres & servers

Data centres refer to a type of facility where computing and networking equipment is concentrated. This is to collect, store, process, distribute and allow access to large amounts of data. In today’s world, we are becoming increasingly reliant on data. This is largely due to trends such as 5G, Industry 4.0, mobile internet, and internet TV. To keep such systems in data centres operational, a massive amount of servers is needed.

Compact fans in server cooling

Fig 1. Servers in a data centre

These servers will generate an excessive amount of heat and unless they are cooled efficiently, the equipment will overheat. This will then lead to system breakdowns and shortened equipment lifespan.

How is a server room kept cool?

A server room is kept cool in many ways. One of these is the use of a computer room air-conditioning (CRAC) unit, raised floors, and compact fans:

Compact fans in server cooling

Fig 2. How a server room is cooled

As illustrated, the CRAC unit will send cold air through the under-floor plenum. The cold air will travel throughout the raised floor and exit the plenum through perforated tiles. Compact fans are used to suck cold air into the racks from the front. This is important as cold air sinks. The cold air will then cool the server equipment.

Then, as the server equipment runs, heat is generated. This heats the surrounding air, which then rises and exits from the back of the rack. The CRAC unit will then cool this hot air. To give a boost to the hot air generated by the server equipment, compact fans are used as well.

In summary, the compact fans play a crucial role in the cooling cycle within a server room.

Importance of reliable & efficient cooling in data centres

Data centres are considered to be critical infrastructure, which means their continued operation is essential to ensure the security of a given nation, its economy, and the public’s health and/or safety. This means they are in operation 24/7.

Therefore, the cooling systems in data centres must be reliable. The ideal compact fan must be able to run for long hours and require little maintenance.

Compact fans testing for server cooling

Fig 2. ebm‑papst’s compact fan service life testing

In addition, as data usage increases throughout the world, so does the energy consumption of data centres. Higher energy consumption implies increased operation costs and a greater impact on the environment. Both are undesirable to the data centre operator. Therefore, the compact fans used should be as energy-efficient as possible.

ebm‑papst’s compact fans are known to be quiet, durable, efficient and powerful. Therefore, they are more than suitable for server cooling.

by Cheryl Tan
Marketing Department of ebm‑papst SEA Pte. Ltd.

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