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Server Room Air Conditioner Replacement?

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Looking to find out what size AC replacement we should puchase.

Server room is 6' x 8' with a 10' ceiling.

2 racks with the following equipment:

13 servers, 2 switches, 2 RM UPS's, firewall, SSL appliance, tape backup

Currently we have a 24,000 BTU AC unit.  I usually keep the room at about 68 degrees, give or take a few...

We received 2 bids, one company stated we should go down to a 18,000 BTU and the other company wants us to go up a 30,000 BTU unit.  

So my question is, which unit would be best for us, considering our situation.  I just don't want to have this unit pump out too much humidity and kill the servers slowly.

Thanks in advance...
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Question by:teamorange
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mkobrin earned 250 total points
ID: 34101705
If your current unit is keeping the room at 68, and the compressor is not on permanently, I would stay with the 24K. If the Air con is working very hard, then maybe you should upgrade to 30K. I would not downgrade to 18K, because then you might find that the unit has to work too hard, and is never or hardly ever switching the compressor off, and you will only pick up problems as a result.
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Expert Comment

by:ProtechCT
ID: 34101736
Couple of questions.

What is the reason for replacement?

Does the current unit keep the room cool enough?

Is there any expansion in servers planned?  Any possible virtualization solution in the future?

Here is a link that explains what the humudity levels should be kept at along with temperature.  http://www.avtech.com/About/Articles/AVT/NA/All/-/DD-NN-AN-TN/Recommended_Computer_Room_Temperature_Humidity.htm
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Author Comment

by:teamorange
ID: 34101805
The current unit needed repair twice over the last few months.  We had two companies look at the unit and both suggest the unit should be replaced because the compressor is just about on its way out.  

So basically our current unit has 2 bandaids on it right now.  The unit worked fine for a 4 years, I have added a few servers over the last 2 years.  And I plan to add 2 new servers and an additional UPS as well.  

Thinking maybe the unit was struggling over the past few years and finally couldn't take it anymore.  My concern for going to the higher unit would be too much humidity in the room.  I should check on that piece to see what we are running on that end.
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Author Comment

by:teamorange
ID: 34101849
BTW great article regarding the Recommended Data Center Temperature & Humidity levels...
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Author Comment

by:teamorange
ID: 34102823
So another question, what would be the downside of going up to the 30,000 BTU unit and I checked the humidity levels, we are 35-40% levels which is on the low end, what would be a way to increase that level to a range of 45-55% as suggested?
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Assisted Solution

by:ProtechCT
ProtechCT earned 250 total points
ID: 34103756
Well moving to a smaller unit would not be recommended as it would run longer and take more humidity out of the air.

Since you said that the other unit was struggling which makes sense since you say the humidity levels were on the low side, i would recommend the larger unit, it would give you more cooling power and should run a shorter length of time there by not taking as much humidity out of the air.

Hopefully this makes sense,  I used to work for a HVAC contractor in my early days.
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