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Humidity is posing serious problems for data centers

Storage
(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Scanrail1)

Moisture is the “silent killer” of data centers everywhere and, if not tackled accordingly, can permanently damage hardware in these facilities. This is the conclusion of a new report from temperature control specialists Aggreko.

In the report, Aggreko explains that cities popular among data center operators, such as Dublin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Helsinki, are among the places that have an average humidity level higher than recommended.

Tiny droplets of water floating around in the air can find their way into the smallest areas and spaces of any components. If this persists, materials can warp, causing permanent damage and incurring high maintenance costs for data center operators. Even after moisture is removed, corrosive deposits can continue to cause damage.

Aggreko argues that data center operators need to be smart about removing moisture from the air, in order to safeguard their equipment.

“Unfortunately, not all teams are making the necessary considerations to remove moisture from sites entirely, with common mistakes prevalent,” said Ryan Stanley, Moisture Control Specialist at Aggreko.

“For many, the immediate reaction to rising humidity is to use dryers to remove the problem. However, while the issue may appear to be resolved, drying doesn’t always remove moisture from the atmosphere and can actually cause long-term damage, impacting the lifespan of a data center.”

There is a three-step approach to properly dehumidifying a space, including heating, air circulation and removal through dehumidifiers.

“The process of removing moisture effectively is extremely sensitive and time must be taken to ensure it is managed properly,” Stanley added. “We would advise data center operators – and those working on construction sites – to ensure the right approach is taken to avoid future problems.”