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Tiling The Linux Benchmarking Server Room For Lower Temperatures

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  • Tiling The Linux Benchmarking Server Room For Lower Temperatures

    Phoronix: Tiling The Linux Benchmarking Server Room For Lower Temperatures

    Two weeks back I wrote about Brainstorming Further Cooling Improvements To The Linux Benchmarking Room with the idea of replacing the vinyl floor tiles and underlayment and using porcelain tiles directly on the concrete slab for helping to absorb some of the heat during the coming summer months. That project is moving forward...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...loors-Go-Ahead

  • #2
    If you plan to remove the casters from the racks once the tiles are all in place and grouted, I would suggest placing the load-bearing points of the racks on Masonite, or at least at the rack corners. I would think 1/2 inch Masonite would be strong enough, durable over time, and relatively inexpensive. That way the floor tiles are protected from the load-bearing points while the maximum amount of tile under the racks remains exposed.

    If you plan to keep the casters on, do the same thing (use Masonite at the load-bearing points of the racks) and find a way to securely lock the casters in place.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
      If you plan to remove the casters from the racks once the tiles are all in place and grouted, I would suggest placing the load-bearing points of the racks on Masonite, or at least at the rack corners. I would think 1/2 inch Masonite would be strong enough, durable over time, and relatively inexpensive. That way the floor tiles are protected from the load-bearing points while the maximum amount of tile under the racks remains exposed.

      If you plan to keep the casters on, do the same thing (use Masonite at the load-bearing points of the racks) and find a way to securely lock the casters in place.
      I definitely want to leave the casters on.

      Thanks for the tip regarding Masonite, still trying to figure out best approach. Unfortunately, doesn't look like I can get any Masonite locally (having to use Home Depot or Lowes). They do have a hardboard tempered pannel but that's only 3/16-inch thick or a eucalpyus white hardboard that's only 1/8 inch thick. Hmmm.

      I'd likely use 4 x 8 foot sheets of whatever and cut them to roughly the size of each rack so I can still wheel them about a bit for cleaning, etc. But also still trying to evaluate how likely the tile is to crack? If the tile only ends up cracking in a few small areas where the casters are, I can probably live with it since ever my basement is no longer a server room, would likely go back to doing vinyl planks over the tile.
      Michael Larabel
      https://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        Are you going for black tiles?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Herem View Post
          Are you going for black tiles?
          Black tiles? The color of the tiles are shown in the picture.
          Michael Larabel
          https://www.michaellarabel.com/

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          • #6
            Looks great. Now all you need is a fountain for evaporative cooling
            Test signature

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bridgman View Post
              Looks great. Now all you need is a fountain for evaporative cooling
              Yeah! Most people don't realize this, but the Minoans invented the first evaporators almost 4000 years ago. They figured out rudimentary air conditioning a long time ago. They'd fill pots with water and servants would fan air past the pots towards their master.

              EDIT: Well, maybe not the Minoans, it seems they came a bit later. I definitely remember reading about frescoes discovered on Crete that described the situation.
              Last edited by duby229; 31 January 2016, 11:55 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Michael View Post

                Black tiles? The color of the tiles are shown in the picture.
                That's odd the article only had text the first time I viewed it.

                The reason I mentioned using black or a dark color tile is just because darker tiles would absorb heat more efficiently.

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                • #9
                  I fear that won't work.
                  The main use of porcelain is to avoid as much as possible the move of the heat from one side to the other one. Think about the space shuttle thermal tiling.
                  The gross result of your tiling would be a better heat reflection back to the server room instead of some absorption by the floor.
                  Tiles have a high thermal capacity so, for some time, they will seem to keep the room cooler. But then the heat will start bouncing back to the room.
                  Bottom line is that you need something beneath the tiles to drain heat away.
                  I could be wrong, but I am a conservator and will keep using colled rised floor in my data center.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Uqbar View Post
                    Think about the space shuttle thermal tiling.
                    I did for a bit. The space shuttle thermal tiling (which consists of multiple specifically designed materials) has multiple uses apart from having low thermal conductivity (how well it transfers heat):
                    - It has a high heat capacity, meaning lots of thermal energy are required for a relatively small change of temperature.
                    - It has a high melting point, meaning that the temperature can rise alot before taking damage.
                    - These two combine so that the tiling can take boatloads of thermal energy before breaking down.

                    This isn't very relevant for Michael though, his tiles aren't the kind that would go on the space shuttle. The thermal conductivity of general porcelain isn't necessarily low. Consider a porcelain cup with hot tea in it. The entirety of the cup will heat pretty fast. A wooden cup wouldn't, because of its lower thermal conductivity. Porcelain has a thermal conductivity that's about 10 times higher than that of wood, so not low in any everyday sense.

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