cassette air conditioning is not the best idea for server room cooling
Cassette in ceiling style air conditioners are a great way of cooling an area easily and affectively but are ideally suited for comfort cooling. Cassettes tackle the heat load of the room at the best possible point as they sit in the ceiling and capture the hottest air in the room. The problem with cassette air conditioning in server rooms is that when a cassette leaks water as they often do when they breakdown, the consequences can be devastating if positioned over a well populated server rack.
Adding and moving racks may need consideration:
In many cases server rooms get more equipment added or equipment moved over time which may put the racks directly under a cassette air conditioning unit which stays in the same position. As a well-seasoned engineer I have visited many corporate clients server rooms and have been shocked by the chances some IT managers have taken by moving racks into precarious positions under old potentially leaky air conditioning systems. In one instance a rack had been put under a cassette which failed and leaked water onto the top of a server rack. The rack was fortunate enough to have a solid un-perforated lid so the water leaked off the top and down the side and the fault was spotted in time by a vigilant IT manager. The rack doors were kept shut on the side so luckily no damage was caused. The server rack contained all the hard drives for a major aerospace company and the loss could have been unthinkable
Why wall air conditioning or tailored systems maybe the best option:
Wall air conditioning is not only the cheapest way of air conditioning but it is also one of the safest to cool a small to medium sized server room. when a wall air conditioning unit fails the water leaks down the side of the wall of the room not into the centre of the room where damage is more likely. Wall units are not the most effective in large rooms as you may not get the air-flow to the centre of the room. Larger server rooms can be catered for with larger under floor systems from Denco or IMI (UK manufactures). in many cases a small to medium sized company only requires limited server space so wall air conditioning is by far the most popular.
Condensate pump failure:
Condensate pumps do come with a failsafe open circuit control to interlock with air conditioning units but they are mostly under rated current wise to handle the control circuit of a AC unit and generally most water leaks are from condensate pipes coming from the air conditioning system. Beware where condensates pumps are placed.
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Last updated - 23/04/2020