DIY Home server room cooling, ideas/inputs

rma

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
200
Hi All,

preface:
I have all my server gear and network placed in my house in an around 1.8m2 (~20sqft) room, district heating enters the same room and therefor adds more heat in the winter time but more or less no heat in the summer as we dont have the heating turned on beside heating water.
normally i let the door open to the room to keep the temperature down, but doing this sucks more dust into the machines, from the rest of the house, besides that my back entry to the house is to the right of the picture
i live an an rural part of the country and therefor the amount of dust from harvesters and in general pollen, will easily get into the room with the door open.
so i am looking for any recommendations/idea's how other have solved this problem, with passive cooling.


room.png


my average power usage is around 200-300 watts constant depending on how my drives are running, turning on all equipment would properly bump the power to +1300 watts (i never need to do this).

Be aware that AC is not an option.

The current idea's are the following:

the back window glass have been removed (single layer of glass, room was used an pantry before) and i have changed the glass with 2 layers of plywood sandwiched with some styrofoam in the middle for isolation in the winter time.


Idea 1:
Make an 100mm round hole in the window and mount an exhaust vent screen on the outside (just sort off the largest things), from there on i am thinking of using an HEPA filter from an vacuum clear or something in that area on the inside (cheap and easy to get hold of here) for mounting the unit i plan to do an 3D printed adapter, and then mount an 12/24V fan to suck fresh clean air from the outside in through the HEPA filter, this should keep the room preasured and therefor as dust free as possible,

idea1.png



Idea 2:
my back entry is pretty cool all year round and and instead of sucking the air from the outside i could just suck fresh air from there, and blow it back again, the setup would be the following.
inlet hole 2 inches from the floor with an HEPA filter on it again, and an exhaust hole near the top of the ceiling, i can the 2 holes on diffrent wall' preventing them from just looping the air.

the back entry has an much larger area ~30m2 (322sqft)

idea2.png


has anybody done something similar? did i miss something here? if you have done anything similar please share they setup pictures would really help.

an combination of idea 1 and 2 could be done using idea 1 in the summer time and idea 2 for winter time (preserving the heat in the house)
 

rma

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
200
Its a small enough area, why is A/C not an option (such as one of the portable rolling server units)? Like this: https://www.amazon.com/EdgeStar-AP14009COM-Portable-Conditioner-Dehumidifier/dp/B00M2260UI
Triplite and APC make similarly sized models as well if you want name brand.
It wont cool a full rack but under 1k watts it should be able to handle with no issue much less your sub 500w.
Hi Spartacus09,

As i live in Denmark, most of the year we have pretty low temperatures outside, both Apple and Google are building data centers here because of the possibility to use free cooling, besides that the power here is pretty expensive (50cent pr kWH) so using AC would just make the whole thing more expensive compared to just using the already cool air outside (besides that AC units would cost ~500USD), or use the cooler air from the rest of my house, most of my customers at work use the outside to cool the server rooms (Huge fans press air in) and the the hot air gets used to warm the buildings, this lowering the energy needed, so making an small scale system that could do the same would be way more fun in my perspectives.

My heating bill is around 1800USD (district heating system) , so anything that could help lowering that would be great.

I can do all the electric and electronics my self as i have an degree in this, I have been looking on doing an Arduino with an program to controll an automatic cooling system for home use.
 

NIZMOZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
1,739
Hi Spartacus09,

As i live in Denmark, most of the year we have pretty low temperatures outside, both Apple and Google are building data centers here because of the possibility to use free cooling, besides that the power here is pretty expensive (50cent pr kWH) so using AC would just make the whole thing more expensive compared to just using the already cool air outside (besides that AC units would cost ~500USD), or use the cooler air from the rest of my house, most of my customers at work use the outside to cool the server rooms (Huge fans press air in) and the the hot air gets used to warm the buildings, this lowering the energy needed, so making an small scale system that could do the same would be way more fun in my perspectives.

My heating bill is around 1800USD (district heating system) , so anything that could help lowering that would be great.

I can do all the electric and electronics my self as i have an degree in this, I have been looking on doing an Arduino with an program to controll an automatic cooling system for home use.
Using outside air is a big NO NO for Server Rooms. You do not want moisture/humid air inside of the server room. That is why every server room has an AC unit. Google and Apple are building it the correct way with Evaporaters on the roof to prevent moisture from getting in the DC. These Mr. Cools work well, and don't really use a lot of power. https://www.homedepot.com/b/MRCOOL/N-5yc1vZfyt

See this guys review and he shows the difference in his bills for a garage which is a much bigger space.

 

rma

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
200
Using outside air is a big NO NO for Server Rooms. You do not want moisture/humid air inside of the server room. That is why every server room has an AC unit. Google and Apple are building it the correct way with Evaporaters on the roof to prevent moisture from getting in the DC. These Mr. Cools work well, and don't really use a lot of power. https://www.homedepot.com/b/MRCOOL/N-5yc1vZfyt

See this guys review and he shows the difference in his bills for a garage which is a much bigger space.

Not that worried about the humidity, the humidity i can control even an rainy day, just an matter of controlling what i put in the room and how much, i can do that with an micro controller and some logic, you actually want more then 30%RH humidity, and below 60%RH going below 30% would make the lubrication in the fans and hard drives fail pretty fast, besides that it will build up natural Static electricity (ESD), going over 60%RH would start to make natural, corrosion between the different metals and with none conform coated parts.

I have been working with system design for equipment used by military/naval and land system, for field use, i will try to design to ASHRAE recommendations as much i can do and what makes sense, but still looking for inspirations from others.
environment and humidity in the Scandinavian country's are pretty stable, the problem would more be to keep the humidity higher, even here in the summer we can around 30%RH we had rain earlier here and the humidity is only 49% so pretty dry in that sense.

most AC's that you can get here are sold as heat pumps and therefor they use way much more power for cooling compared to warming the house with them, typically you would add 1KW and get around 3.5-4KW heat from them, thus they are not optimised for cooling as we dont need that in our houses here, we dont have climate like in the US, where it can get realy hot some places.
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,587
Build a ground loop/external radiator water cooling system and do it that way?
 

Dead Parrot

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
2,807
IMO - a combo of Idea 1 and Idea 2 would give the best results. Play with temp set points so that when the outside temps are too cold, it switches to using internal air for cooling and using the 'waste' heat to warm the living space. Be sure to include an independent temp/humidity alarm that sounds if something gets out of spec so you can fix the problem before anything gets harmed.

In my experience, I have had more problems with low humidity and the resulting static risk then from too high a humidity. Most modern stuff is fairly humidity tolerent as long as it doesn't start condensing out on the equipment.
 
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rma

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
200
IMO - a combo of Idea 1 and Idea 2 would give the best results. Play with temp set points so that when the outside temps are too cold, it switches to using internal air for cooling and using the 'waste' heat to warm the living space. Be sure to include an independent temp/humidity alarm that sounds if something gets out of spec so you can fix the problem before anything gets harmed.

In my experience, I have had more problems with low humidity and the resulting static risk then from too high a humidity. Most modern stuff is fairly humidity tolerent as long as it doesn't start condensing out on the equipment.
That is the same conclusion i have at the moment, the biggest problem is that i need to invent all the items that i need for the job, so im currently 3D modelling the diffrent parts so i can 3D print them, and from there on i need to test the solution.
 
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