Controlling Gaseous and Particulate Contamination in Data Centers


Data centers operating in areas with high ambient pollution are experiencing corrosion-related hardware failures due to changes in electronic equipment brought about by recent “lead-free” regulations. Data centers located in areas with lower pollution levels may also experience similar problems especially when using air-side economizers for “free cooling.” When monitoring indicates that air quality does not fall within specified corrosion limits, enhanced air cleaning is required. Combination gas-phase / particulate air filters may be used to remove outdoor contaminants as well as any internally-generated contaminants to maintain acceptable air quality within the data center. This paper will discuss basic design requirements for the optimum control of contamination in data centers and the application of enhanced air cleaning. General aspects of air cleaning technology will be presented and where it may be used within the data center. Passive and real-time corrosion monitoring techniques used in data centers will be described.

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