March 28

Air Quality in Data Centers: Why It Matters and How to Improve It

Data centers play a crucial role in our daily lives, powering everything from our social media feeds to essential cloud storage services. One aspect of data center operation that is critical yet frequently overlooked is air quality management. Poor air quality can lead to hardware degradation, increased downtime, and significantly impact operational efficiency and sustainability efforts. Continue reading to learn more about data center air quality from Camfil Data Center Segment Manager Adam Wiggins.

Particulate Matter
Particulate matter (PM) in data centers can originate from various sources, including outdoor air pollution, diesel-powered backup generators, and overheated servers. PM is a concern because it can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream, posing health risks to personnel and potentially causing damage to sensitive electronic equipment. The Washington State Department of Ecology issues air quality permits to data centers to limit pollution from diesel generators and tracks the combined impacts of diesel exhaust. PM composed of water-soluble ionic salts is particularly concerning in data centers due to their potential to damage electronic components.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are another significant concern for indoor air quality in data centers. These compounds can be emitted from overheated servers and can contain chemicals that damage servers, circuit boards, and cooling systems, leading to malfunctions and downtime....

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