Unused vertical space in open frame racks and rack enclosures creates an unrestricted recycling of hot air that causes equipment to heat up unnecessarily. The use of airflow management blanking panels can reduce this problem. This paper explains and quantifies the effects of airflow management blanking panels on cooling system performance.
IT equipment in the rack environment can overheat if the heated exhaust air flows back into the air intake. There are a number of situations that can occur in a rack which permit or even encourage air recirculation and the resultant overheating. When a properly designed rack is used in conjunction with rack-mounted equipment, a primary cause of air recirculation is unoccupied rack space. The use of airflow management blanking panels to fill this unoccupied space eliminates the problem. This paper provides a checklist of items that should be considered when designing a new data center or network room, and can be used to perform an audit of an existing data center or network room. When these guidelines are followed, overheating due to recirculation can be significantly reduced, and the efficiency of the air conditioning system is improved.