[GLLUG] Low power (and cheap) servers in a highish ambient temperature

James Courtier-Dutton james.dutton at gmail.com
Mon Jul 22 22:21:22 UTC 2013

On 22 July 2013 19:40, Tom Taylor <tom at tommyt.co.uk> wrote:

> I need some hardware (not particularly powerful) capable of running a
> fairly mainstream Linux distro.
> The catch is that it needs to run in a fairly warm (up to 45degC) and
> dusty (so fans are a bad idea) environment.
> I tried running a pair of raspberries with heatsinks but they started
> exhibiting strange behavior (low power TX on the NIC, hanging etc.
> etc.) so I'm kind of ruling them out.
> Does anyone know of anything similar (ARM or x86) that might be up to the
> job?
I have experience of running PCs/Servers in sandy/dusty deserts (e.g. IRAQ)
that run at high temperature.
The general approach taken is you enclose all the servers in a large
cabinet and then have a heat exchanger to cool the air.
The air inside the cabinet never reaches the outside, and the air outside
never reaches the inside.
This permits the use of small fans inside the cabinet.
There are large fans outside the cabinet that are not affected by dust. In
fact, you can also pour water all over the outside fans, and they just keep
on turning.

Problem, the heat exchanger and cabinet are rather expensive.

You might be able to achieve a similar result with PC water coolers.
The fan next to the cooler part does not really need to care about dust so
long as the PC itself in never in contact with the dust.
The fan is only blowing air through the cooling element, not the PC parts.

Kind Regards

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