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Natural Environment Cooling


MoD_Box_CPU
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Was talking with a buddy on TS a few days ago and as 90% of my conversations do, it turned into a conversation about computer hardware. This topic came up when I mention that I lived in Chicago and was about to experience my very first northern winter (I'm stoked about it and everyone thinks I'm crazy). While discussing the option of hosting webservers in my place of business the conversation led to cooling them, which got me thinking. How feasible would it be to pull in cold air from outdoors, while keeping moisture out of course, to cool the servers during the winter. My knowledge in server upkeep and care lacks slightly and I wanted to get your opinions. What temperatures should I expect form a normal rack setup? Could performance be improved at all?

 

Please bear in mind that this will also be home to about 25 high performance PC's out on the main floor and I dont want to give my customers frostbite...bad for business ya know.

Edited by MoD_Box_CPU

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I often wondered this. When i was redecorating i kept thinking up wild schemes to draw cold air to my computer from outside in the winter and vent hot air from my computer outside in the summer. Never got around to testing any though. Do report back during the winter if you try it, i will be interested to hear how it goes.

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I often wondered this. When i was redecorating i kept thinking up wild schemes to draw cold air to my computer from outside in the winter and vent hot air from my computer outside in the summer. Never got around to testing any though. Do report back during the winter if you try it, i will be interested to hear how it goes.

 

I was playing with the idea of a sealable vent inside the server closet with maybe a single low speed 5v fan there are a number of materials and techniques I can use to keep water and snow out so I'm not worried as much about that, I'm more concerned about the economics of it and whether or not it would send my heating bill through the roof without much gain. Heatventing would be as big a problem for me since our summer so far has been relevantly mild compared to my home town Houston

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Yeah, if you could do it you would severely reduce your power bill i think.

I wonder, could you:

 

cool air outside -> server room when hot -> heating vents and the hot air from your servers would supplement the air heated by your heating unit and save power.

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Yeah, if you could do it you would severely reduce your power bill i think.

I wonder, could you:

 

cool air outside -> server room when hot -> heating vents and the hot air from your servers would supplement the air heated by your heating unit and save power.

since these are web servers I dont think they would displace enough heat to make it worth trying that...would potentially backfire and funnel excess cold air into the main room

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since these are web servers I dont think they would displace enough heat to make it worth trying that...would potentially backfire and funnel excess cold air into the main room

mmm..... point. Still if you have enough traffic it might work.

Still i will be interested to hear how the cool air in works.

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I would think the easiest way to do something like this and keep the moisture out is to use some kind of radiator system between the server room and the outside. Radiators inside and outside with water running through them to transfer the heat from one side of the wall to the other. Because the radiators and lines could be sealed, wouldn't have to worry about moisture.

Just my first thought on how to do it.

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I would think the easiest way to do something like this and keep the moisture out is to use some kind of radiator system between the server room and the outside. Radiators inside and outside with water running through them to transfer the heat from one side of the wall to the other. Because the radiators and lines could be sealed, wouldn't have to worry about moisture.

Just my first thought on how to do it.

 

 

The only problem to that I could see is if you where able to chill the water too much and cause condenstation in your system... though I have no idea how cold the outside air would have to be for that to happen...

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I did this last year.... I live on the indiana/michigan border. i ran a duct from my window to the radiators on my case and was able to pull super cool tems on my water loops. my 580's would run idle at 9c and my overclocked 950 @ 4.2 would idle at 19c . i did this all winter while running benchmarks, i never had any issues with it and plan to do it again this winter for some more benches. you just want to make sure you dont pull any snow in to the case.

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I did this last year.... I live on the indiana/michigan border. i ran a duct from my window to the radiators on my case and was able to pull super cool tems on my water loops. my 580's would run idle at 9c and my overclocked 950 @ 4.2 would idle at 19c . i did this all winter while running benchmarks, i never had any issues with it and plan to do it again this winter for some more benches. you just want to make sure you dont pull any snow in to the case.

 

Wow. 9c, that's just crazy. Makes me wanna do something like this myself. I live in Norway so shouldn't really be a problem lol, unless it's too much snow in the winter.

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i have a guy at one of my local shops who did something similar for benching. the problem is condensation if the ambient is higher than the cooling air. but he just opened the window at -10C when he gone for work (computer off) and when he came home the room was at around -4C, and clocked like crazy! This works since at negative degrees there is no water left in the air to condensate anymore. but it is not very fun to use gloves with a keyboard ;)

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Condensation is all about dew point of the air in the surroundings...

 

So, if you use water temperatures that are below the dew point for your ambient temperature that's inside your case...might want to have preventative measures taken for condensation ;)

 

Cold air straight into the case won't do anything...it won't condense onto a warmer surface from how the dew points work :P

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