ElectriSCAN – Data Centers

Thermal Imaging at the Data Center

Compuscanir logo, IR for Data Centers

Ensuring that data center infrastructure stays up and running is mission critical. Failures can cost a large businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity and opportunity costs. Also, data centers consume a lot of electricity, which raises the operating expenses. Because of the need for high uptime rates, high server densities and limits on electrical grid capacity, data center operators are now looking for ways to optimize performance and power usage effectiveness (PUE), while reducing costs.

We use specialized approaches to the thermal infrared testing at data centers and we would like to help you! CompuSCANIR™ is a service of Stockton Infrared Thermographic Services, Inc., which is operated by ElectriSCAN™. We stand ready to help you meet the challenges. Please see some info and images on our services. For more information, please visit the CompuSCANIR website.

Why CompuSCANIR™ Services?

This is our specialty. We specialize in the infrared P/PM inspections of the electrical and mechanical systems and thermal mapping of the data center which supports the uninterrupted operation of computer centers.

Experience. CompuSCANIR™ thermographers have performed infrared surveys of hundreds of data centers over the past 20 years. We have refined our techniques so we don’t over-report or under-report problems.

State-of-the-Art Equipment. We use high-resolution thermal imagers and digital recording equipment so that we are not limited by image quality.

Attitude. We will do everything possible to make your survey a success! We will come to your center anytime, anywhere in the US. We will obtain the best imagery possible and produce a professional report in a timely manner.

Report Product. Our deliverable product is the best on the market today. Digital and printed reports with data log (a list of areas inspected), thermographic reports of anomalies, summary of findings, recap and repair guide listings.

Two areas where Thermal Imaging can help data center operators are:

  • Electrical/Mechanical Predictive Maintenance
  • Cooling Systems and Heat-Generating Equipment Condition Monitoring

Electrical/Mechanical Predictive Maintenance

Because temperature is directly linked to energy consumption and equipment operation, infrared thermography (thermal imaging and thermal mapping) can be used to monitor power consumption, cooling, and IT operations. Monitoring the electrical equipment, cooling equipment and computing equipment which is at the heart of the of the data center.

Data Center infrared inspections of electrical switchgear has been standard practice since the first data center was built. But data centers have specific requirements and precautions that make these types of inspections unique, requiring a higher level infrared thermographer, teamwork and 100% attention to detail to inspect the equipment when it is energized and at different loads.

Typical Data Center Switchgear Inspected

  • Main Breakers
  • Generators
  • Automatic Transfer Switches
  • UPS Modules
  • DC Battery Banks
  • UPS Output Breakers
  • Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
  • PDU Circuit Panels
  • Preferred and Alternate circuits
  • Power Strips in server cabinets

Some of the equipment specific to data centers is discussed in detail below.

Battery Bank Testing

Battery bank testing is carried out to identify any impending problems or system shortcomings. These include hot connections, battery cell anomalies, and temperature change during discharge.

UPS Systems in General

Dual-power technology requires two completely independent electrical systems tied together with switchgear. When the normal source of power fails, these dual-path power supply systems quickly switch to a back-up source. A UPS system keeps the power flowing until the normal source is restored or another source is brought on-line and synchronized. Usually, the UPS, through a PDU or power distribution unit takes AC power, converts it to DC where a bank of batteries is tied in and then inverts it back to AC to feed the computer hardware.

Since the systems often cannot be tested on-line, they must be tested during “maintenance windows”, planned outages or times when the impact of testing is lower, so that simulations can be run.

UPS Output Breakers

This is the Critical piece of equipment and a critical load as each breaker is supplying a UPS feed.

Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
  • We test each PDU completely on each Feed (Transformer) and at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% before being “Commissioned”.
  • We have the experience and knowledge to also look for what is not hot e.g., capacitors.
  • We include the control equipment in our surveys, because it can shutdown the system as quickly as a failure of the switchgear.
  • We plan on testing two Transformers with different UPS feeds.
  • Every PDU is tested with a resistive load and a "Non-UPS Power" supply. For commissioning, this is done before the PDU is incorporated into the "Data Center operational equipment".

Cooling Systems and Heat-Generating Equipment Condition Monitoring -Thermal Mapping of Data Centers – ThermalMap™

Combined with analysis and with emphasis on CRAC ( computer room air conditioning) unit efficiency and proper cooling distribution, a data center’s “heat” image can be very useful as a conditioned-based monitoring practice and to validate the models used to design the data center.

With a validated model, improvements in the data center can be developed via simulation with a high degree of accuracy and then implemented. This approach reduces the costs of improvements.

The technology allows the data center operator to fine tune the HVAC system to achieve the specified temperature specifications throughout the entire data center and focus on areas of the cabinets that may have elevated equipment temperatures due to design problems, changes in operation from the design point, CPU utilization, load capacity or HVAC issues.

There are three different types of Thermal Image Mapping possible

2D thermal mapping (2D Thermal MapIR™)

360 degree thermal mapping (360 Thermal MapIR™)

3D thermal mapping (3D Thermal MapIR™)

The 2D and 360° Thermal MapIR™ are particularly applicable to providing an overall heat view look at the thermal performance of the facility. They highlight areas of concern that should be addressed to either prevent failures or downtime or to improve operational efficiency and capacity.

The 3D MapIR™ provides an opportunity to validate the engineering models used in designing the facility. While this may be particularly appropriate during commissioning, it is also highly useful during the operations of the data center to provide a validated basis for examining system improvements with a high confidence level in the accuracy of the results.

2D Thermal Mapping Demonstration

360 degree Thermal Mapping Demonstration

3D Thermal Mapping Demonstration

ElectriSCAN – a Service of Stockton Infrared Thermographic Services, Inc. Copyright 2020

Site built by Websites by KTS – Can we build one for you?