By Dr. Vijay Chaudhry, President, Bry-Air
The proliferation of data centers has become an inevitable part of robust Internet penetration. With companies invariably resorting to the centers for their ability to store and manage the incoming data deluge efficiently, it is underscoring the importance of quality air solutions within the facility to protect it from any sort of unplanned downtime. Looking at the rising demand for data centres across industries, the segment is expected to clock an annual growth rate of 5.84% during the forecasted period of 2023-2028 as per the Statista report. This, in turn, necessitates the efficient working of data centres to ensure the maximum output of the facility.
Data centres are continuously under the threat of Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) that remain suspended in the air in the form of smoke or dust. It has been observed that vapor gases such as sulphur, oxides of nitrogen, chlorine, ammonia, etc., are the major factors initiating chemical contamination that leads to AMC. The prospects of corrosion are further amplified in facilities situated near landfill sites, sewerage/drains, high-density traffic, process industries, etc. Such sites can disseminate highly corrosive gases like SOx, H2S, NOx, etc. that can easily penetrate the data centres and contaminate the environment inside the room. If left unattended, it can cause corrosion on the system, which only gets magnified in miniaturised electronics by leading to micro-corrosion or e-corrosion in them.
Therefore, looking at the damage AMC can do to the data centres, industry players should focus on reducing downtime losses. For which the industry players should adopt quality air solutions with alacrity. Deploying quality air solutions comes with the ability to prevent corrosion, control humidity, and maintain positive pressure that aids in maximising the uptime and performance of the data centres.
Here, installing advanced Gas Phase Filtration systems (GPF) can play an instrumental role in achieving the highest air quality within the premises and, likewise, inhibiting the contamination of the facility. At the same time, it also comes in handy in protecting the microcircuitry of PCBs by filtering out corrosive gases. To eliminate the corrosive gases in the data centres, deploying a DataCentre Air Purifier (DAP) helps to remove the airborne molecular contamination seeping into the centres. DAP houses a revolutionary macro-porous desiccant formed honeycomb matrix filter that has a high bulk density, structural strength and adsorption capacity.
For a more comprehensive approach, installing Compact Dehumidifiers aids in maintaining the humidity at optimum levels to address the issue of condensation on the equipment. By removing excess moisture from the air, it addresses the humidity menace within the space while maintaining a comfortable working environment for the occupants within the premises.
Furthermore, to ensure the complete protection of the facility, deploying Customised Pressurisation Units to create positive pressure inside the facility, and prevent any hazardous substances from entering the room.
The resilience of the data centres can be further strengthened by adopting media testing to control corrosion in the room. The testing comes with corrosion coupons that are adept at identifying corrosion in the system and, at the same time, efficient at detecting the influx of gases. In addition to this, the industry should also install ACM – Atmospheric Corrosivity Monitor to recognise the corrosive gases that come with the ability to give a thorough insight into the corrosivity level with the categorisation into G1, G2, G3, and Gx. It is well-equipped to provide information about the percentage of gases, and in the process, it also gives a clear idea about the criticality of the gases.
Where the OEMs have discontinued the annual maintenance costs of expensive cards, deploying quality air solutions aids in inhibiting contamination in the data centres and server rooms. It simply directs a contaminant-laden air stream over a gas adsorbent full of neutralising chemicals. The entire process aims to filter out corrosive gases to protect the integrity of the centre. As the data centre industry is poised to grow at a phenomenal rate with the Internet and digitisation making strong inroads into the country, embracing quality air solutions can immensely contribute to the tech-driven growth of the country.