Corrosive air is an invisible danger lurking in data centers. These airborne contaminants react with the unprotected surfaces of the inner workings of electronic equipment, which leads to unplanned downtime and the loss of critical equipment. Without an established monitoring process, you may not even be aware that there is an issue until something goes wrong. This is compounded by increasing complexity, worsening environmental factors, and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) regulations that have restricted the use of more corrosion resistant materials in the manufacturing of electronic equipment. The good news? Once you have determined if you have a corrosive environment, there are a number of solutions for continued monitoring and mitigation.
What is Causing Corrosion in Data Centers?
There could be a number of factors at play in the creation of a hostile environment for your equipment. Since 2006, the European Union has legislated for the restriction of hazardous substances and chemicals (RoHS) in many electrical and electronic products. This directive aimed to phase out the use of certain heavy metals such as lead in favor of more eco-friendly substitutes. While beneficial for the environment, this initiative has left electrical equipment more vulnerable to corrosion.
Additionally, common practices in the industry like free cooling exposes equipment to ambient air. This unregulated air may be filled with contaminants and although it can save you cooling costs up front, it could be costing you down the road with expensive repairs and downtime.
Free cooling practices aside, the environment your facility is located in could also be negatively impacting your electrical equipment. Unless a data center is fully shielded from the outside world, and is aware of the processes used internally (cleaning chemicals, etc), there is always opportunity for environmental factors, including temperature and humidity levels to reach the sensitive equipment so many are relying on.
Unplanned Data Center Downtime Is Costly
Every day, thousands of modern technologies and devices connect people to information.
Data centers are relied upon more than ever to support these networks and devices and neither the facilities nor the populations they serve can afford the downtime associated with corrosive air damage.
Depending on the severity of the environment, corrosive air may lead to more prevalent breakdowns and a strained maintenance department. At the same time, detectable corrosion could void any equipment warranties.
Ultimately, all of these factors could negatively impact a data center’s reputation and bottom line. On average, it costs $300K an hour anytime a data center experiences downtime in their facilities — this breaks down to $5,600 lost per minute.
Make the Invisible, Visible With Corrosive Air Monitoring Solutions
It is more important than ever for data centers to have a corrosive air diagnosis strategy in place. These diagnosis solutions are the first step to avoiding costly downtime and repairs. Diagnostic tools like Purafil’s Corrosion Coupon and OnGuard systems allow you to identify poor air quality by using copper and silver metal, mimicking the equipment in your facilities. These tools provide a sample to test and extrapolate the effects of your specific environment.
Purafil’s mission is to make the world safer, healthier, and more productive by providing clean air to vulnerable critical environments. We offer scientifically supported results that align with the ANSI/ISA-71.04-2013 standard for environmental conditions.
Dealing with a corrosive environment in your facilities? You can trust our team of experts to create a personalized strategy tailored to what your data center needs. Contact us today.