Risks To Telecommunication Equipment Under Free Air Cooling Conditions And Their Mitigation

Jun Dai
Diganta Das
Michael Pecht


The telecommunication industry is concerned about the energy costs of its operating infrastructure, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. At present, more than half of the total energy consumption of data centers is for the power and cooling infrastructure that supports the storage and communication equipment. One method of reducing energy consumption is an approach called ―free air cooling,‖ where the ambient air is used to cool the equipment directly, thereby reducing the energy consumed in cooling and conditioning the air. However, the impacts of this approach on the performance and reliability of telecommunication equipment need to be identified. The implementation of free air cooling changes the operating environment, including temperature, humidity and airborne contamination, which may have a significant impact on the performance and reliability of telecom equipment. This paper presents the challenges posed by free air cooling and presents a multi-stage process for evaluating and mitigating the potential risks arising from this new operating environment.

Full Text: Publisher, CALCE Members