Protecting mission-critical facilities from corrosion.

Data Center Air Problems

Data centers store and protect such valuable digital information as bank accounts, streaming movies, websites, libraries, healthcare data, and government statistics. All of those computer electronics are vulnerable to corrosion caused by air pollution.

Data centers and telecom environments have always been at risk from corroding copper and silver connectors as well as circuit boards. This has been made worse when lead was removed from solder by Removal of Hazadardous Substances (RoHS) legislation. These facilities are now more susceptible to corrosion-related failures. Even levels of corrosive gases as small as several parts per billion carry costly consequences: downtime, circuit board failure, ghost signals, and complete failure of equipment such as hard drives.

The answer is: prevention, monitoring, and gas-phase solutions.

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Common Problems with Data Centers

Data centers are purposely located close to large consumers of their services where the electrical grid is stable. These tend to be urban locations, which means there is a lot of vehicular traffic spewing exhaust fumes. These fumes carry sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides (SOx and NOx), which are acidic and very corrosive.

Despite the data centers geared for computers and associated components, they still have to be ventilated with outside air. Over time, this pollution from outdoors takes a toll on the copper circuitry in printed circuit boards, wiring, connectors, hard drives, and air-conditioning coils.

The best solution is to prevent these gases from entering via the ventilation system. How? By installing multiple gas-phase media stages that react with the SOx and NOx, converting them to solids held in the media.

Once this media barrier is installed, it must be regularly tested to determine when the media is becoming spent and needs replacement.

Fortunately, new types of sensors can monitor corrosion and sound alarms when the corrosion rate is climbing and moving above allowable limits. These are essential in any data center, because uptime is the measure of performance, and satisfying customers requires uptime of at least 99.9 percent. To achieve that level of performance, the operators of data centers cannot tolerate corrosion of critical computers and power systems.

Data centers tend to be large spaces with few walls and common plenums or open plenums for return air to the CRACK air conditioners. If areas lack good air circulation, the components there are more vulnerable. Adding stand-alone air scrubbers that recirculate the air around them through gas-phase media will solve that problem. Because space in a data center is costly, the room air scrubbers need to have a small footprint, but many of the old designs take up twice the space of newer designs like the recirculation and pressurization apparatus.

ProMark provides Total Spectrum® air purifiers to treat outside air for ventilation so no SOx or NOx gases, or small particles enter the DC. It has proven to be the most economical solution since the gas-phase media is protected from VOCs in outside air by the UV and photocatalyst stage ahead of the gas-phase media.

For recirculation air in the DC, the RP cabinet air scrubber is the best solution on the market. It has a small foot print for the volume of media it holds and its airflow capacity. Therefore, it does not take up much valuable data storage space.

These two air purifiers protect a Data Center and prolongs the electronics life expectancy saving significant costs that would be spent on replacement hard drives, cooling fans, circuit boards, and communications equipment