25Free Cooling Technologies in Data Centers

Nicholas H. Des Champs and Keith Dunnavant

Munters Corporation, Buena Vista, VA, USA

25.1 Introduction

Development and use of computers for business and science were a result of attempts to remove the drudgery of many office functions and to speed the time required to do mathematically intensive scientific computations. As computers developed from the 1950s tube-type mainframes, such as the IBM 705, through the minicomputers of the 1980s, they were typically housed in a facility that was also home to many of the operation’s top-level employees. And because of the cost of these early computers and the security surrounding them, they were housed in a secure area within the main facility. It was not uncommon to have them in an area enclosed in lots of glass so that the computers and peripheral hardware could be seen by visitors and employees. It was an asset that presented the operation as one that was at the leading edge of technology.

These early systems generated considerably more heat per instruction than today’s servers. Also, the electronic equipment was more sensitive to temperature, moisture, and dust. As a result, the computer room was essentially treated as a modern-day clean room. That is, high-efficiency filtration, humidity control, and temperatures comparable to operating rooms were standard. Since the computer room was an integral part of the main facility and had numerous personnel operating the computers and the many ...

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