Humidity is a problem
Just like the outside, too much humidity indoors can create a lot of problems. This means that data centers need to take corrective action. Since temperatures and humidity are not the same things, it takes different machines to control both.
One reason why data centers need to control humidity is that humidity can cause electrostatic discharges. These discharges damage servers and bring costly repair bills as well as other inconveniences.
To keep their servers running in optimum condition, the humidity in the room has to be controlled. Just like the right temperature has to be maintained.
Effects of high humidity in data centers
You may not realize it, but humidity does affect machines. But it isn’t one humidity extreme or the other, both humidity extremes tend to bring some sort of damage to data servers.
Controlling the humidity in data centers becomes very important. For example, low humidity levels bring the possibility of static damage to the servers. High humidity levels tend to ruin electrical equipment (Read more about our Static Electricity Dehumidifiers) and contribute to the swelling of printed circuit boards.
Both problems lead to equipment breakdown and an interruption in service. An interruption in service can cause loss of revenue and many other business headaches to a company.
It is no wonder that data centers spend an enormous sum of money regulating their data server rooms. They need to do this in order to protect their investment and equipment. These data centers try to keep the temperature and humidity levels in their server rooms at optimum levels.
For temperature, the ideal level is between 60 degrees F on the low side of the scale and 80 degrees F on the high side. Anything outside of this comfort zone could create problems for the data center.
Humidity also has its optimum level as well. The low end of the scale is set at 40 percent and the high end is capped at 60 percent relative humidity. But these two levels are not the only ones that need to be regulated.
The dew point must also be monitored to ensure the equipment is operating in prime environmental conditions. The recommended lower dew point level stands at approx. 42 F, while the top end levels out at 59 F. All three levels must be regulated to maintain the best environment for data servers.
Condensation dehumidifiers for data centers
One of the biggest problems for data centers is condensation. This condition can cause a lot of problems including, but not limited to, loss of data, electrical sparking and short-circuiting.
One way to help control condensation would be to install a vapor barrier. It is said that without one, it may be almost impossible for any data center to control their humidity problem.
Another solution would be for the data center to purchase or rent condensation dehumidifiers. Due to the nature of how servers operate, controlling humidity and condensation is a tricky business. There are hot and cold spots throughout the server room.
Condensation dehumidifiers can control these hot and cold areas and pull the condensation out of the air at the same time. These dehumidifiers take the condensation, turn it into the water, then drain the water safely through a drain pipe.
They keep the servers safe from any water and electricity contact. The key in using condensation dehumidifiers is in the calculation. By that, we mean that you just cannot go out and buy a condensation dehumidifier and stick it in your server room.
The unit you buy may be too small or the room may be too large for the proper regulating of humidity levels. You need to calculate the size of your room and the nature of the problem.
Then you need to check the capacity ratings of the condensation dehumidifier. In the end, you probably need more than one and they all need to be placed in strategic locations in the server room.
Making the right calculations and buying the right condensation dehumidifiers and the right number will save you a lot of money. It will also save data, time and interruption of uptime. Doing it right the first time is always the best way to go.
Why desiccant dehumidifiers are not good for data centers
One reason why the desiccant dehumidifier is not good for a data center is that it produces heat. Secondly, it consumes a lot of electricity.
Another reason why this type of dehumidifier is not good for is that for them to work effectively, they need to work side by side with refrigeration dehumidifying units. That is because the refrigeration units compensate for the limitations of the desiccant dehumidifier.
One of these limitations is that desiccant dehumidifiers are not economical operating at humidity levels higher than roughly 70 percent RH. They are better suited for lower temperature climates that produce lower levels of humidity.
Two other reasons why desiccant dehumidifiers are not good for data centers are, one, they have limited capacity. Two, they produce a foul odor of dry air. The interior mechanism of the desiccant dehumidifier generates dry air, which has an arid smell.
This odor then is subsequently discharged with the dehumidified air. Bad air in the data server room means a bad environment in throughout the building. Odour is an important factor to consider when purchasing a dehumidifier for your data server room.