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Rack Air Flow Design

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
For our church, we are going to be building a dedicated room for our servers, amps, processors ect. We will have dedicated HVAC for this room and I just wanted to make sure the plan I have will work properly.

Also, note that I read the Middle Atlantic Thermal Management PDF found here.

I'm planning on building the room very similar to the room found here on Electronic House, though obviously not as fancy. I was planning on sealing the racks completely except for vents in the bottom few slots of the racks (not in the floor as a lifted computer floor is not an option) and the roofs of the racks. I was going to put the cold air supply duct right in front of the rack, letting cold air go down the front of the racks and therefore through the equipment. I was going to put the return duct in the sealed area above the racks pulling the hot air out. All equipment with fans would go at the bottom to suck air in as needed to be pulled out the top.

Would this be effective or do I need to run the cold air primarily to the floor vents and let natural convection run it's course?
post #2 of 2

Hi seige,

As a former installer of pro audio systems, everything from restaurants to churches to arenas - IMO you're over-engineering this. You don't have to do anything fancy with the HVAC. Just cool the room as you would any other, although it certainly can't hurt to arrange the ducts as Middle Atlantic suggests, especially if you have the luxury of designing the room from the ground up.

If you're using an open-frame rack, then heat build-up is not an issue. A typical method of ventilating an enclosed rack is to put a couple of 4" muffin exhaust fans at the top, to pull out hot air as it rises. Naturally, this works best if the rack is sealed and has vents at the bottom for cool make-up air. Another trick is to put all the heat-generating gear like the amps at the top of the rack.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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