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    Server closet / small room cooling

    Not trying to steal the thread, but on the topic of heat ...

    I've been trying to find a portable A/C unit for my wiring closet, but can't find anything smaller than about a square foot footprint and about 2.5 feet tall ... seems rather large for the closet I have ... has anyone seen anything out there smaller? I can vent it through the ceiling into my attic, but I don't want to spend thousands. The closet is only about six feet wide by three feet deep by six feet tall ... so not much to cool

    #2
    maybe just a ceiling vent fan to pull the heat out, like a large bathroom fan
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      #3
      Originally posted by jackpod View Post
      maybe just a ceiling vent fan to pull the heat out, like a large bathroom fan
      I tried one of the in-line duct fans to pull the air out (vented it into my entry area), but the fan clonked out (that's a technical term) and it wasn't terribly effective when it was working ...

      I think I need something that generates some cooling ...

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        #4
        Server closet / small room cooling

        Guys,

        I thought I'd start a new thread covering server room / closet cooling options. As I mentioned here, I'm using fan cooling now, but I'm considering a small, portable AC unit, since the ambient air temperature in my closet is warmer than I would like, sometimes approaching 88-90F (depending on season and whether house is in cooling or heating mode).

        If anyone has found the "perfect" portable AC unit for server closets, please share info, as well as other ideas / thoughts on cooling options.

        Thanks,
        Don

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          #5
          Originally posted by richardfj View Post
          I tried one of the in-line duct fans to pull the air out (vented it into my entry area), but the fan clonked out (that's a technical term) and it wasn't terribly effective when it was working ...

          I think I need something that generates some cooling ...
          Maybe we should move this to a new thread, but I'm interested in the portable AC topic as well. My closet is about 4'x5' with a 10' ceiling. I have a large (300 cfm IIRC?) fan pulling air out of the top (Panasonic "remote" bathroom fan), plus two small 12vdc PC fan pulling air into the closet near the bottom. In addition I've added an oscillating tower fan "in" the closet just to circulate the air across all components.

          Still, the ambient temperature in the closet rises a good 10-15 degrees above ambient on that floor, which means air temps can approach 88-90F worst case. I think this is too high. So, I've been thinking of trying a portable air conditioner (not keen on energy costs though) and vent it out of the top of the closet, replacing the fan exhaust. I've started shopping but don't think I've found the perfect unit yet. Not too many models auto-restart after an AC power failure (though some do). I also can't decide if a drip-less model (no condensate drain) would produce exhaust air that is too moist to vent back into the house. In winter-time, the added heat / moisture might be welcomed if it's not too much. Finally, I want a unit that is stylish, preferably black or silver, that looks good sitting next to the component rack, not an ugly white box :-)

          If any one is using a portable air conditioner for server cooling, please share your experiences and suggestions in this new thread.

          Thanks,
          Don

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            #6
            Guys,
            I have a small 6x8x3 (w,h,d) closet and I simply added a vent from the central air to the closet. I leave the vent open in the air conditioning season and close it in the winter. In the winter I monitor the temps in the attic and when they are less than 50 I turn on a small bathroom vent fan to pull air from the attic. Works perfectly and has for 2 years.
            -Rupp
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              #7
              Originally posted by Rupp View Post
              Guys,
              I have a small 6x8x3 (w,h,d) closet and I simply added a vent from the central air to the closet. I leave the vent open in the air conditioning season and close it in the winter. In the winter I monitor the temps in the attic and when they are less than 50 I turn on a small bathroom vent fan to pull air from the attic. Works perfectly and has for 2 years.
              I should have mentioned that I also have an AC duct into the closet, so the temp is probably lowest in the summer when HVAC is running often. In the winter, I keep the house cool enough that the closet temps are manageable. So, it's really the "in-between" seasons that result in the warmest closet temps.

              Don

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                #8
                My server room is 7' X 15' Standard ceiling height. I put in one of the 10,000 BTU window units. It is one that has the "Economy Mode" where it runs the fan every 5 minutes to sample the temp and kicks on the compressor if needed. It actually does a real good job of keeping constant temp and doesn't run constantly. I keep it set at 68 year round
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                  #9
                  I would think that an ambient closet temperature of up to 90-100 degrees should not be a problem as long as the air is moving and the temperature of your computer(s) is not getting too high. Air conditioning a closet seems like overkill and is certainly not very green? Why not add a couple of one-wire DS1820 temperature sensors at key places in your closet and use them to control a fan that blows lots of air across the the components that get too warm!

                  Steve Q
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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Steve Q View Post
                    I would think that an ambient closet temperature of up to 90-100 degrees should not be a problem as long as the air is moving and the temperature of your computer(s) is not getting too high. Air conditioning a closet seems like overkill and is certainly not very green? Why not add a couple of one-wire DS1820 temperature sensors at key places in your closet and use them to control a fan that blows lots of air across the the components that get too warm!

                    Steve Q
                    You're probably right ... it might just be an issue of moving the air through the closet.

                    I've actually got a fairly good solution in that the closet sits right above the A/C air intake (which then moves the air up the wall to the furnace/blower immediately above the closet in the attic). My thinking was always that I didn't want to do the construction to basically redirect the air through the closet (instead of through the wall), because I'd have issues in the winter time when the heater is on.

                    I could definitely have two fans ... one pulling from the house in the summer and another pulling from the attic in the winter ... but I'm wondering what happens when I'm out of the house for extended periods of time (in the summer, it sets the thermostat to 85 in vacation mode and 80 when in away mode, which is standard during the day)

                    If I reduce the ambient temperature in the closet to 85 at the max is that reasonable? I always thought that a nice chilly 60 is best for electronics ...

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                      #11
                      I'm no expert on the optimal temperature for electronics, but my new computer has BIOS settings for the CPU fan and the case fan that go up to 185 degrees. So I assume that it must be OK for the CPU to get that warm? I know that excessive heat can shorten the life of most electronic gear, but I don't think an ambient room temperature of 90-95 would be considered excessive.

                      As long as there is adequate air movement I think the room temperature can be almost anything.

                      Steve Q
                      HomeSeer Version: HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.368, Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 - Home, Number of Devices: 373, Number of Events: 666, Enabled Plug-Ins
                      2.0.83.0: BLRF, 2.0.10.0: BLUSBUIRT, 3.0.0.75: HSTouch Server, 3.0.0.58: mcsXap, 3.0.0.11: NetCAM, 3.0.0.36: X10, 3.0.1.25: Z-Wave,Alexa,HomeKit

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Steve Q View Post
                        I'm no expert on the optimal temperature for electronics, but my new computer has BIOS settings for the CPU fan and the case fan that go up to 185 degrees. So I assume that it must be OK for the CPU to get that warm? I know that excessive heat can shorten the life of most electronic gear, but I don't think an ambient room temperature of 90-95 would be considered excessive.

                        As long as there is adequate air movement I think the room temperature can be almost anything.

                        Steve Q
                        If this can be believed, then 90+ will probably shorten the life of our electronics. As mentioned above, intake/exhaust fans keep my closet below 90, and I also have a Honeywell "tower" fan in the clost blowing air directly across the rack of components.

                        My AMD 3500+ PC at idle typically shows a CPU temp (speedfan) of 100-115F which is about the same range that my (2) DirectTV HR21-700 boxes show in their "setup/info" screens. Ideally, I think the closet should 15-20F cooler, but that can't be acheived without supplemental AC cooling (which isn't green and sort of defeats the purpose of spending money on LED lighting elsewhere in my home )

                        Don

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                          #13
                          Well I agree it is good to be green, why I have HA to cut where I can to compensate where I can't. So it works out, which I think is a win. I've got way to much gear that would cost a lot more than what I would save by not running AC...

                          Just my opinion
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                            #14
                            Here is a story I am having - inline to this thread...

                            I have been in this boat for 10yrs now - only in the past 3 did I have to do something. My basement closet of 8ftx3ftx6ft houses a half rack with 7000 thermal BTU coming out the back. It cooks in there and server fans ramp up if I have improper air flow.

                            All was fine with bi-fold doors open - but noisy. I wanted to close the doors and a/c the closet (humidity control is key here). I purchased an edgestar portable ($500.00) that is dripless and vents heat & water out the duct. I had it dump into the basement drop ceiling across the opening. After a season of that - it really got hot in the basement, yet cool in the closet and this was ok in winter - it messed my summer cooling in the basement as it maintained a 78deg temp with house a/c trying to cool as well. The painful part was my electric bill really took flight as this ran non-stop pretty much. (painful summer electric bill approaching $600/m this year when it used to be half that 2yrs ago)

                            So, I attempted a means of airventing only (Note - a side affect of the portable a/c market- lose house power and when power returns - the a/c does not turn on as I dealt with a VERY hot room on a trip back after a power failure). So I installed a panasonic high speed vent/blower (whisper line - very nice) and (2) 2x2 drop ceiling vents to pull air out and dump to the other room. Tried alone - but when the door was closed - you end up with poor air flow as I have no louvered doors to let air in.

                            What I am doing now - is looking for a Mini-Split a/c that runs more efficient than the 9amp draw of the Edgestar - but I cannot get any straight answers from sources on these. LG says it will not work - room too small and it will cycle too many times and burn up the compressor - plus, LG says their units only work to 40deg outside temp before they shut off. Well - that is no good. MrSlim (Mitsubishi) says they have a model to run to 0deg - but is too big to fit in my closet. Grrr. Now I am waiting to hear if they think putting the outside unit in my garage will work (away from the cold chicago winter temps) and a benefit of heating my garage as well.

                            Oh, another electrical one - they tell me to get a 220 model to draw less amps - hmmm, also checking on this too to save on my e-bill. Soo many choices, soo many problems, soo many dead ends... and I thought this was simple - keep a small room at 74deg.

                            Someone said to vent outside winter air in to cool (working on this now to test) and I should try the louvered doors. That is where I stand. I am trying to keep a split system cost under $1500.00 - but that is not happening so my portable a/c may have to remain if I cannot get air flow enough to keep it cool.

                            Why is this soo complicated.

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                              #15
                              To cool your server closet, I'd check out the APC product line at apcc.com.

                              They have a wiring closet ventilation unit that is not an AC unit, but claims 3kw of cooling power, or up to 40 degrees temp reduction.

                              They also have a couple other items that may work.
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