[Beowulf] HVAC and room cooling...

Per Lindstrom klamman.gard at telia.com
Sat Jan 31 06:57:49 EST 2004


As a Marine Engineer is the cooling aspect the absolute smallest problem 
with a Linux cluster. The cooling capacity required is calculated with 
by means of the "Funnel principle" i.e. every thing that you are putting 
in will come out. This give that you have to calculate the total heat 
in-put in your cluster-room as that is what you want transport out of 
the room by means of an air-refrigerant equipment.

The simplest way to found out the cooling effect required will be to:

A) Ask a professional air refrigerant company to recommend the capacity 
for the actual1
location when it is used as an office. (They should have experience and 
know-how to calculate the heat in-put from the sun-shine and climate in 
your area)

B) Calculate your cluster's maximum power consumption

3 Calculate the total cooling capacity required by the formula: ? > 
(A+B) x 1.1

Best regards
Per Lindstro"m

Brent M. Clements wrote:

>I have found that the best thing to do is outsource the colocation of your
>equipment. The cost of installing and maintaining the proper type of
>cooling and ventilation for mid-large size clusters costs more than to
>We are currently exploring placing our larger clusters in colocation
>facilities right now.
>The only downside that we have is that we can't find colocation facilities
>that will give us 24/7 physical access to our equipment. As you all
>know...researchers push beowulf hardware to the limits and the meantime to
>failure is higher.
>Brent Clements
>Linux Technology Specialist
>Information Technology
>Rice University
>On Fri, 30 Jan 2004, A.J. Rossini wrote:
>>John Bushnell <bushnell at chem.ucsb.edu> writes:
>>>(So many watts) times 'x' equals how many "tons" of AC.  Multiply
>>>by at least two of course ;-)
>>Or 3, sigh...
>>>>Also, does anyone have any brilliant thoughts for cooling an internal
>>>>room that can't affordably get chilled water?  (I've been suggesting
>>>>to people that it isn't possible, but someone brought up "portable
>>>>liquid nitrogen" -- for the room, NOT for overclocking -- I'm trying
>>>>to get stable systems, not instability :-).
>>>  You can have an external heat exchanger.  If you are lucky and are,
>>>say, on the first floor somewhere close to an external wall, it is
>>>pretty simple to run a small pipe between the internal AC and the
>>>heat exchanger outside.  Don't know how far it is practical to run
>>>one though.  We have one in our computer room, but it is only six
>>>feet or so from the exchanger outside.  Our newer AC runs on chilled
>>>water which was quoted for a lot less than another inside/outside
>>>combo, but we already had a leftover chilled water supply in the
>>>computer room.
>>I've looked at the chilled-water approach.  They estimated between
>>$40k-$80k.  oops (this room is REALLY in the middle of the building.
>>Great for other computing purposes, but not for cooling).
>>I'm looking for the proverbial vent-free A/C.  Sort of like
>>frictionless tables and similar devices I recall from undergraduate
>>Thanks for the comments!
>>rossini at u.washington.edu            http://www.analytics.washington.edu/
>>Biomedical and Health Informatics   University of Washington
>>Biostatistics, SCHARP/HVTN          Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
>>UW (Tu/Th/F): 206-616-7630 FAX=206-543-3461 | Voicemail is unreliable
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