Title:
Intensifier
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An intensifier is disclosed. The intensifier includes an enclosure with an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface that defines a chamber, and an air flow source in communication with the chamber. The intensifier can be positioned in an under floor plenum of a data center. In the plenum, an ambient at a first pressure is draw into the chamber via the intake port and is expelled out of the chamber via the exhaust port and at a second pressure that is higher than the first pressure. The ambient expelled from the intensifier can pass through a vent tile in a raised floor of the data center and the ambient can be used to cool a component supported by the raised floor.



Inventors:
Nair, Manu Kumar Velayudhan (US)
Daniel, Premjit (US)
Gettimall, Govindaraj (US)
Application Number:
11/046602
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
01/28/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KOSANOVIC, HELENA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HP Inc. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Claims:
1. An intensifier, comprising: an enclosure including an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface defining a chamber; and an air flow source in communication with the chamber, the enclosure is adapted to be positioned in a space that includes an ambient at a first pressure, the exhaust port is adapted to be positioned adjacent to an opening in a surface that partially encloses the space, a conduit connected with the intake port; and the air flow source is operative to draw the ambient into the chamber through the conduit connected to the intake port and to expel the ambient out of the chamber through exhaust port at a second pressure that is higher than tile first pressure.

2. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the air flow source is positioned in the chamber.

3. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the air flow source is connected with the intake port

4. (canceled)

5. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the air flow source is a fan.

6. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the ambient comprises a conditioned air.

7. The intensifier of claim 6, wherein the conditioned air is at a temperature that is less than about than about 25.0° C.

8. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein tie space is an under floor plenum.

9. The intensifier of claim 8, wherein the under floor plenum includes a subsurface positioned below the surface.

10. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the surface is a raised floor.

11. The intensifier of claim 10, wherein the raised floor supports a component to be cooled by the ambient expelled from the exhaust port.

12. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the enclosure is connected with the surface.

13. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the enclosure is connected with a structure positioned below the surface.

14. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the enclosure is connected with a subsurface that is positioned below the surface.

15. The intensifier of claim 1 and further comprising: a vent tile connected with the enclosure and positioned over the exhaust port to vent tile including an aperture through which the ambient exits the chamber.

16. The intensifier of claim 1 and further comprising a vent tile connected with the surface and positioned in the opening and the vent tile includes an aperture through which the ambient exits the chamber.

17. The intensifier of claim 1, wherein the exhaust port is positioned adjacent to the opening in the surface based on an air flow requirement of a component.

18. An intensifier system, comprising: an enclosure including an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface defining a chamber, and an air flow source in communication with the chamber, the enclosure is adapted to be positioned in a space that includes an ambient at a first pressure, the exhaust port is adapted to be positioned adjacent to an opening in a surface that partially encloses the space, and the air flow source is operative to draw the ambient into the chamber through the intake port and to expel the ambient out of the chamber through exhaust port at a second pressure that is higher than the first pressure; and a control unit in communication with the air flow source and operative to control the air flow source.

19. The intensifier system of claim 18, wherein the control unit controls a parameter of the air flow source selected from the group consisting, of a speed of the air flow source, turning the air flow source on, turning the air flow source off and controlling a power source that supplies power to the air flow source.

20. The intensifier system of claim 18, wherein the control unit monitors the air flow source.

21. The intensifier system of claim 20, wherein the control unit monitors a parameter of the air flow source selected from the group consisting of a speed of the air flow source, a state of the air flow source, and a temperature of the air flow source.

22. The intensifier system of claim 18 and further comprising at least one sensor in communication with the control unit.

23. The intensifier system of claim 22, wherein the sensor senses a parameter selected from the group consisting of a temperature, a pressure, an air flow rate, and a humidity.

24. The intensifier system of claim 22, wherein the sensor has a position selected from the group consisting of a position in the space and a position outside of the space.

25. The intensifier system of claim 18 and further comprising an air conditioning unit in communication with the control unit, the air conditioning unit is operative to generate a conditioned air, and the control unit is operative to control the air conditioning unit.

26. The intensifier system of claim 25, wherein the control unit controls a parameter of the air conditioning unit selected from the group consisting of a temperature of the conditioned air, a humidity of the conditioned air, and a flow rate of the conditioned air.

27. 27-32. (canceled)

33. The intensifier of claim 1, further comprising: a second air flow source; and a second intake port, wherein the second air flow source is operative to draw the ambient into the chamber through the second intake port and to expel the ambient out of the chamber through the exhaust port at a higher pressure than first pressure of the ambient

34. The intensifier of claim 1, further comprising: at least one other enclosure positioned in the space and connected to the air flow source, the at least one other enclosure including a second intake port, a second exhaust port, and a second interior surface defining a second chamber, wherein the air flow source is also operative to draw the ambient into the second chamber through the second intake port and to expel the ambient out of the second chamber through the second exhaust port at a higher pressure than first pressure of the ambient.

35. The intensifier system of claim 18, wherein the air flow source is a fan.

36. An apparatus comprising: an enclosure including an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface defining a chamber; an air flow source in communication with the chamber; a conduit connected with the intake port and the air flow source; wherein the enclosure is adapted to be positioned in a space that includes an ambient at a first pressure, the exhaust port is adapted to be positioned adjacent to an opening in a surface that partially encloses the space; wherein the air flow source is operative to draw the ambient into the chamber through the conduit connected to the intake port and to expel the ambient out of the chamber through the exhaust port at a second pressure that is higher than the first pressure; wherein the air flow source is located outside of the enclosure and is connected to the enclosure via the conduit such that the air flow source is operative to be flexibly placed in the space to draw the ambient from different locations within the space.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to an intensifier. More specifically, the present invention relates to an intensifier that generates an air flow at a high flow rate and the air flow can be used to cool a component positioned adjacent to the intensifier.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A data center is a type of computer room in which one or more components are positioned in the data center and are cooled by conditioned air circulating in the data center. Typical components include computers, PC's, servers, printers, disk arrays, network equipment, backup power supplies, and monitors, just to name a few. The conditioned air can be supplied by one or more computer room air conditioning units (CRAC) that may also be positioned in the data center.

In FIG. 1, a prior data center 200 can include walls 213 and a raised floor 203 that is positioned above a sub-floor 205 with the raised floor 203 supporting components (220, 221). The data center 200 can include CRAC units 211 that force conditioned air 204 into an under floor plenum (UFP) 201. The UFP 201 is a partially inclosed volume defined by the sub-floor 205, the raised floor 203, and the walls 213. The conditioned air 204 circulates through the UFP 201 and re-enters the data center 200 via vent holes in vent tiles 202 that are positioned in the raised floor 203 at specific locations. The components (220, 221) requiring cooling are positioned on the raised floor 203 in close proximity to the vent tiles 202 so that the conditioned air 206 exiting through the vent tiles 202 enters into the components (220, 221) and dissipates waste heat from the components (220, 221). The data center 200 can include power distribution units 207 and cable trays 208 that route electrical power from the power distribution units 207 to the components (220, 221).

One disadvantage to the UFP 201 is that an air flow rate (e.g. in CFM) of the conditioned air 206 through the vent tiles 202 is mainly influenced by a local static head pressure in the UFP 201. In FIG. 2, a static head pressure is not uniform throughout the volume of the prior UFP 201 as denoted by a first pressure P1 and a second pressure P2 that are not equal to each other (i.e. P1≠P2). Consequently, the air flow rate through the vent tiles 202 varies depending on the location of the vent tile 202 on the raised floor 203 and a magnitude of the static head pressure in a region of the UFP 201 below the vent tile 202. Accordingly, a first air flow rate F1 through the vent tile 202 that is positioned over the region in the UFP 201 where the static head pressure is the first pressure P1 is not sufficient to meet the cooling needs of the component 220. Moreover, the variations in the static head pressure in the UFP 201 result in differences in air flow rates such that a second air flow rate F2 is not equal to the first air flow rate F1 (i.e. F1≠F2).

As one example, the static head pressure in the UFP 201 can vary from about 0.01 inches of water column to about 0.15 inches of water column. Consequently, the variations in the static head pressure result in the above mentioned variations in air flow rate through the vent tiles 202. Vent tiles 202 positioned over a region in the UFP 201 that has a relatively high static head pressure will have a higher air flow rate. Conversely, vent tiles 202 positioned over a region in the UFP 201 that has a relatively low static head pressure will have a lower air flow rate. In either case, the resulting air flow rate may not be sufficient to meet the cooling requirements of some components. Other factors can contribute to the variations in static head pressure. For example, obstructions in the UFP 201, such as cables, wires, conduits, junction boxes, support structures 231 for supporting the raised floor 203, and cable trays 208 can disrupt the flow of the conditioned air 204 resulting in variations in static head pressure.

An insufficient air flow rate can be detrimental to components that require a high air flow rate to adequately dissipate waste heat. One example of a component that requires a high air flow rate is a high density rack that includes several components (e.g. network servers, disk drives, routers) that are placed in close proximity to each other and dissipate a large amount of waste heat. If the high density rack is positioned near vent tiles 202 that have an insufficient air flow rate, one or more of the components in the rack can fail due to overheating. Moreover, it can be costly in terms of labor, rerouting cables, and system down time to move the high density rack to a location on the raised floor 203 where there is a sufficient air flow through the vent tiles 202 to meet the cooling needs of the high density rack.

Consequently, there is a need for an intensifier that can be flexibly positioned to deliver an increased air flow rate where it is needed. There is also a need for an intensifier that can be retrofitted into existing data centers, or into any environment in which an increased air flow is required to cool components in the environment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An intensifier of the present invention comprises an enclosure including an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface that defines a chamber, and an air flow source in communication with the chamber. The enclosure can be positioned in a space (e.g. in an under floor plenum UFP) that includes an ambient at a first pressure and the exhaust port can be positioned adjacent to an opening in a surface (e.g. a raised floor) that partially encloses the space. The air flow source draws the ambient into the chamber through the intake port where the ambient is expelled out of the exhaust port. The ambient exits the exhaust port at a second pressure that is higher than the first pressure.

The intensifier solves the aforementioned problems because the ambient that exits the exhaust port at the second pressure generates a higher air flow rate out of the exhaust port. The higher air flow rate can be used to dissipate waste heat from components that would otherwise not receive an adequate air flow rate through the opening in the surface based solely on the first pressure.

The intensifier can be retrofitted in an existing environment (e.g. a data center) and the intensifier can be flexibly relocated as air flow needs in the environment change. Other advantages to the intensifier include fabrication from low cost materials (e.g. metals, plastics, composites, wood) and the use of commonly available components for the air flow source (e.g. an electrically powered fan).

Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view depicting a prior under floor plenum in a prior data center.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view depicting static head pressure variations in a prior under floor plenum.

FIGS. 3a and 3b are profile and top plan views depicting an intensifier.

FIG. 3c is a profile view depicting an intensifier including a vent tile.

FIG. 3d is a top plan view depicting an intensifier including multiple air flow sources.

FIG. 3e is a cross-sectional view along a line IV-IV of FIG. 3d.

FIG. 4a is a cross-sectional view along a line I-I of FIG. 3b and depicts a chamber of an enclosure.

FIG. 4b is a cross-sectional view along a line II-II of FIG. 3b and depicts an air flow source connected with an enclosure.

FIGS. 5a, 5b, and 5c are top plan views depicting examples of an air flow source connected with an intensifier.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are a top plan view and a cross-sectional view respectively and depict an intensifier with multiple air flow sources.

FIGS. 8a and 8b are cross-sectional views depicting examples of a conduit connected with an intensifier.

FIG. 8c is a side plan depicting an example of an alternative position for an intake port.

FIG. 9a is a top plan view depicting an example of multiple enclosures in communication with an air flow source.

FIG. 9b is a cross-sectional view depicting a baffle connected with an enclosure.

FIG. 10a is a cross-sectional view depicting one example of an intensifier positioned in a space.

FIG. 10b is a top plan view depicting a position of an intensifier relative to a vent tile in a surface.

FIGS. 11a and 11b are cross-sectional views depicting alternative examples of an intensifier positioned in a space.

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view depicting an intensifier that includes a vent tile.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view depicting an intensifier including a vent tile and positioned in a space.

FIG. 14a is a top plan view depicting an intensifier that includes a plurality of vent tiles.

FIGS. 14b and 14c are a top plan view and a cross-sectional view respectively and depict an intensifier that includes a vent tile.

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view depicting a component supported by a surface and an intensifier positioned in a space below a vent tile in the surface.

FIGS. 16a and 16b are isometric views depicting and intensifier positioned in a space.

FIG. 17 is a-schematic depicting an intensifier system.

FIG. 18 is a schematic depicting a computer readable medium for controlling an intensifier system.

FIGS. 19a through 19d are cross-sectional views depicting examples of alternative shapes for an enclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following detailed description and in the several figures of the drawings, like elements are identified with like reference numerals.

As shown in the drawings for purpose of illustration, the present invention is embodied in an intensifier comprising an enclosure that includes an intake port, an exhaust port, an interior surface that defines a chamber, and an air flow source in communication with the chamber. The enclosure can be positioned in a space that includes an ambient at a first pressure and the exhaust port can be positioned adjacent to an opening in a surface that partially encloses the space. The air flow source draws the ambient into the chamber through the intake port and expels the ambient out of the chamber through the exhaust port at a second pressure that is higher than the first pressure.

Turning to FIGS. 3a and 3b, an intensifier 10 includes an enclosure 11 that includes an intake port 12, an exhaust port 14, and an interior surface 13 that defines a chamber 15. An air flow source 21 is in communication with the chamber 15 and draws an ambient Ai at a first pressure p1 into the chamber 15. The ambient Ai enters the chamber (see dashed arrow A) and the air flow source 21 expels an ambient Ae out of the chamber 15 through the exhaust port 14. The ambient Ae exits the chamber 15 at a second pressure p2 that is higher than the first pressure p1 (i.e. p2>p1).

In FIG. 3b, the enclosure 11 can comprise a structure with four connected surfaces with the chamber 15 defined by the interior surfaces 13. The chamber 15 can terminate at a closed end of the enclosure as denoted by a surface 11c. One open end of the enclosure 11 can define the intake port 12 and another open end can define the exhaust port 14. The actual size and shape of the intake port 12 and the exhaust port 14 will be application specific and are not to be construed as being limited to the rectangular shapes depicted herein. Similarly, the enclosure 11 is not to be construed as being limited to the shapes depicted herein. As will be described below, the enclosure 11 can include circular, semi-circular, angular, and arcuate shapes.

Communication between the air flow source 21 and the chamber 15 can be accomplished in a variety of ways. As one example, the air flow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15 as depicted in FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 3c. The air flow source 21 can include a shape that complements a shape of the chamber 15 so that the air flow source 21 can be inserted into the chamber 15 via the intake port 12 and/or the exhaust port 14. For example, the chamber 15 and the air flow source 21 can have a rectangular shape and the air flow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15 by inserting it through the intake port 12. As another example, a slot 13s that complements a dimension of the air flow source 21 can be formed in the interior surfaces 13 and the air flow source 21 can be inserted into the slot 13s via the exhaust port 14 (see FIG. 5b).

Referring to FIG. 3c, the intensifier 10 can include a vent tile 54 connected with the enclosure 11 an positioned over the exhaust port 14. The vent tile 54 includes an aperture through which the ambient Ae exits the chamber 15. Typically, the vent tile 54 includes a plurality of the apertures. The vent tile 54 can be connected with the enclosure using a method including but not limited to gluing, adhesives, and fasteners. An exemplary vent tile (52, 54) can be like those used in a raised floor of a data center and the apertures can comprise a grating or a plurality of through holes formed in the vent tile (52, 54). For example, a standard data center tile made by a company such as Tate Access Floors®) can be used for the vent tiles (52, 54).

The intensifier 10 can include more than one air flow source 21 as depicted in FIGS. 3d and 3e. In FIG. 3d, two air flow sources 21 are mounted to a baffle 11b that is connected with the enclosure 11. It may be necessary to accommodate an increased air flow into the chamber 15 generated by multiple air flow sources 21, to that end, the enclosure 11 can include more than one intake port 12 as depicted in FIG. 3d, where instead of having a closed end 11c as depicted in FIG. 3b, the enclosure 11 includes two open ends that define two intake ports 12. In FIG. 3e, the baffle 11b can be connected with the enclosure 11 by positioning the baffle 11b in the chamber 15 and connecting the baffle 11b to the interior walls 13, for example. The baffle 11b can have a substantially horizontal orientation relative to the enclosure 11 as depicted by a dashed line H. However, it may be desirable to mount the baffle 11b and/or the air flow sources 21 at an angle (+β, −β). One advantage of a non-horizontal orientation is that the ambient Ae can be directed at a component to be cooled by the intensifier 10.

In FIG. 4a, a cross-sectional view of the intensifier 10 along a line I-I of FIG. 3b depicts the interior surfaces 13 that define the chamber 16 and the exhaust port 14 through which the ambient Ae is expelled by the air flow source 21. The interior surfaces 13 that extend to the exhaust port 14 need not be substantially vertical and may converge or diverge in a direction towards the exhaust port 14.

Turning to FIG. 4b, the air flow source 21 can be a fan. For example, an exemplary air flow source 21 is an electrically powered fan (e.g. AC or DC powered) and can include a frame 23 that supports a motor (not shown) that drives a rotor 25 that includes fan blades 27 connected with the rotor 25. The motor rotates the rotor 25 in a direction (e.g. clockwise or counter clockwise) that generates an air flow into the chamber 15. The frame 23 may optionally include a shape (e.g. a rectangular shape) that complements a shape of the chamber 15 so that the air flow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15.

In FIG. 5a, the airflow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15 and mounted substantially flush with the intake port 12 as denoted by a dashed line f that is flush with the intake port 12. Alternatively, in FIG. 5b, the air flow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15 and inward of the intake port 12 as denoted by a dashed line i. As another alternative, the air flow source 21 can be positioned outside of the chamber 15 and positioned relative to the enclosure 11 so that the air flow generated by the air flow source 21 is communicated into the chamber 15 via the intake port 12. For example, the air flow source 21 can be abutted with the intake port 12 and connected with the enclosure 15 using fasteners or the like.

In FIG. 6, another example of an implementation with multiple air flow sources 21 includes an enclosure 11 with two intake ports 12 and two airflow sources 21 positioned in the chamber 15. Although the air flow sources 21 are depicted as being inset from their respective intake ports 12, the air flow sources 21 can also be mounted flush with their respective intake ports 12, or positioned outside of the chamber 15 as was described above in FIG. 5b.

In FIG. 7, yet another example of multiple air flow sources 21 includes two air flow sources 21 mounted on a baffle 11e. The baffle 11e is positioned in the chamber 15 and is connected with the enclosure 11. The baffle lie can be positioned flush with the intake port 12 or the baffle 11e can be positioned in the chamber 15 and inset of the intake port 12. Alternatively, the baffle 11e can be positioned outside of the chamber 15, abutted with the intake port 12, and connected with the enclosure 11 using fasteners or the like.

Referring FIGS. 8a and 8b, a conduit 31 can be connected with the intake port 12 and the air flow source 21 draws the ambient Ai into the chamber 15 via the conduit 31 as depicted in FIG. 8a. Essentially, the conduit 31 serves as an extension of the intake port 12. On the other hand, in FIG. 8b, the conduit 31 can be connected with the intake port 12 and connected with the air flow source 21. The air flow source 21 draws the ambient Ai into the conduit 31 where the ambient Ai flows through the conduit 31 and into the chamber 15. The use of the conduit 31 allows a point of intake for the enclosure 11 to be flexibly positioned anywhere in the space where the ambient Ai flows.

Similarly, in FIG. 8b, the conduit 31 allows the air flow source 21 to be remotely positioned anywhere in the space where the ambient Ai flows. Consequently, in FIG. 8b, the conduit 31 allows the air flow source 21 to communicate the ambient Ai to the chamber 15 without a direct connection between the enclosure 11 and the air flow source 21. The conduit 31 can be connected with the enclosure 11 or the intake port 12 using glue, adhesives, clamps, fasteners, or the like.

Turning to FIG. 8c, an alternative configuration of the intake port 12 is depicted. The intake port 12 is positioned on a side of the enclosure 11. The conduit 31 and the air flow source 21 as depicted in FIGS. 8a and 8b can be used in this configuration or the air flow source 21 can be positioned in the chamber 15, in the intake port 12, or outside of the enclosure 11 as was described above FIGS. 3a through 7. A shape of the intake port 12 is not to be construed as being limited to the circular or rectangular shapes depicted herein.

Referring to FIG. 9a, multiple intensifiers 10 can be serviced by at least one air flow source 21 that distributes the ambient Ai to the intensifiers 10 via conduits 31. Each of the conduits 31 is connected with an intake port 12 of one of the intensifiers 10. A manifold 33 in contact with the air flow source 21 and the conduits 31 can be used to distribute the ambient Ai into the conduits 31. Although only one air flow source 21 is depicted, more than one air flow source 21 can be used. For example, two air flow sources 21 can be connected with the manifold 33. In FIG. 9b, a baffle 11b connected with the enclosure 11 can include an aperture 11o adapted to receive the conduits 31 of FIG. 9a. The conduits 31 can be connected with the aperture 11o using glue, adhesives, clamps, fasteners, or the like.

In FIG. 10a, the enclosure 11 is positioned in a space 50 that includes the aforementioned ambient Ai at a first pressure p1. The ambient Ai circulates through the space 50 and can be generated by an air conditioning unit, such as a computer room air conditioning unit (CRAC), for example. Therefore, the ambient Ai can be a conditioned air (i.e. cooled or chilled air) that circulates through the space 50. Preferably, the conditioned air is at a temperature that is less than about 25.0° C. (e.g. less than room temperature). The exhaust port 14 is positioned adjacent to an opening 51o in a surface 51 that partially encloses the space 50.

The ambient Ae that is expelled from the chamber 15 passes through the surface via the opening 51o. The space 50 is only partially enclosed because the surface 51 includes one or more of the openings 51o. A vent tile 52 can be positioned in the opening 51o. The vent tile 52 includes a plurality of apertures or vent holes through which the ambient Ae passes. An exemplary vent tile 52 is a type used in computer data centers.

The space 50 can be an under floor plenum (UFP) such as the type used in a data center to facilitate the cooling of components (e.g. servers) housed in the data center. The under floor plenum can include a subsurface 53 that is positioned below the surface 51. Accordingly, the space 50 can be defined by the surface 51, the subsurface 53, and additional surfaces, such as four walls (not shown). The surface 51 can be a raised floor. A support structure 55 connected with the subsurface 53 can support the raised floor above the subsurface 53.

In FIG. 10b, the surface 51 supports a component 70 (two are shown) to be cooled by the ambient Ae. As was described above, the surface 51 can be a raised floor. The intensifier 10 which is positioned below the surface 51 and in the space 50 is shown in dashed outline with the vent tile 52 positioned in the opening 51o in the surface 51.

In FIGS. 10a, 11a, and 11b, a variety of means can be used to position the intensifier 10 in the space 50 so that the exhaust port 14 is positioned adjacent to the opening 51o in the surface 51. In FIG. 10a, the enclosure 11 can be connected with the surface 51. As a first example, a bracket 57 and fasteners 58 can be used to connect the enclosure 11 with the surface 51. In FIG. 11a, as a second example, the enclosure 11 is connected with the subsurface 53 using a support 54 and fasteners 58. In FIG. 11b, as a third example, a structure 55 is connected with the subsurface 53 and supports the surface 51. A structure 56 and fasteners 58 can be used to connect the enclosure 11 with the structure 55.

As was described above in reference to FIG. 3c, the intensifier 10 can include a vent tile 54. In FIG. 12, the vent tile 54 can be connected to the enclosure 11 via the interior surfaces 13. The vent tile 54 can extend outward of the exhaust port 14 by a distance d. The distance d can be selected so that a surface 54s of the vent tile 54 is flush with a top surface 51s of the surface 51 when the enclosure 11 is positioned in the space 50 (see also FIG. 13) with the vent tile 54 positioned in the opening 51o.

Referring now to FIG. 14a, the intensifier 10 can include an enclosure 11 with multiple exhaust ports 14 (two are shown). The enclosure 11 can be positioned in the space 50 with the exhaust ports 14 adjacent to the vent tile 52 in the surface 51 as depicted in FIGS. 10a, 11a, and 11b. On the other hand, the enclosure 11 can include two vent tiles 54 positioned over the exhaust ports 14 and the enclosure 11 can be positioned in the space 50 as depicted in FIG. 13. One advantage of multiple exhaust ports 14 is that a total area through which the ambient Ae exits the chamber 15 can be reduced so that the second pressure p2 is increased.

In FIG. 14b, a single vent tile 54 is positioned over a single exhaust port 14 and the enclosure 11 can be positioned in the space 50 as depicted in FIG. 13. As one example of how a single vent tile 54 or multiple vent tiles 54 can be connected with the enclosure 11, in FIG. 14c, a groove 13g can be formed in the enclosure 11 and the vent tile 54 can be inserted into the groove 13g. The vent tile 54 can be secured to the enclosure 11 using fasteners, adhesives, glue, or the like.

Turning to FIG. 15, the surface 51 supports components 80 and 83 on the top surface 51s. The ambient Ai circulates through the space 50 at the first pressure p1 and a portion of the ambient Ai exits through the vent tiles 52 to cool the component 83. An air flow rate f1 of the ambient Ai is sufficient to cool the component 83. In contrast, the air flow rate f1 of the ambient Ai exiting directly through the vent tile 52 (i.e. sans the intensifier 10) is not sufficient to cool the component 80. Accordingly, the exhaust port 14 of the intensifier 10 is positioned adjacent to the opening 51o in the surface 51 so that the ambient Ae at the second pressure p2 (i.e. p2>p1) exits the vent tile 52 and dissipates waste heat from the component 80. The second pressure p2 results in an air flow rate f2 of the ambient Ae being greater than the air flow rate f1 of the ambient Ai (i.e. f2>f1) and the air flow rate f2 is sufficient to meet the cooling requirements of the component 80. The intensifier 10 can be positioned in the space 50 so that the exhaust port 14 is adjacent to the opening 51o in the surface 51 based on an air flow requirement of a component. Therefore, of the various components supported by the surface 51, the intensifier 10 can be positioned in the space 50 under a vent tile 52 to cool one or more components that require a higher air flow rate than would be possible with the air flow rate f1.

Referring again to FIGS. 3e, 5a, and 14c, the enclosure 11 can include a sealing structure 11g that can be used to prevent a leakage of the ambient Ae when the enclosure 11 is urged into contact with the surface 51. Essentially, the sealing structure 11g seals a junction between the enclosure 11 and the surface 51 when the intensifier 10 is positioned in the space 50 as depicted in FIGS. 10a, 11a, 11b, 13, 15, 16a, and 16b. A gasket, an o-ring, or a sealant material can be used for the sealing structure 11g, for example.

Turning to FIG. 16a, a data center 90 includes air conditioning units 61, power supply units 63, and components (80, 83) to be cooled by the ambient Ai generated by the air conditioning units 61. The ambient Ai circulates through the space 50 defined by the surface 51 (e.g. a raised floor), a subsurface 53, and walls 91. A door 93 or the like can be used to gain access to the data center 90. Although not shown, the data center 90 will typically include a ceiling. The surface 51 supports the components (80, 83) and includes the aforementioned vent tiles 52 with the components (80, 83) positioned adjacent to the vent tiles 52. Electrical power from the power supply units 63 can be supplied to the components (80, 83) via cable trays 65.

Of the components (80, 83), the air flow rate f1 of the ambient Ai that exits the vent tiles 52 is sufficient to cool the components 83. However, the air flow rate f1 is not sufficient to cool the components 80. Consequently, two intensifiers 10 are positioned in the space 50 under the vent tiles 52 that are adjacent to the components 80 so that the ambient Ae at the higher air flow rate f2 cools the components 80.

Referring to FIG. 16b, a more detailed view of the data center 90 depicts the intensifier 10 positioned under the vent tile 52 through which the ambient Ae exits to cool the components 80. The position of the intensifier 10 in the space 50 is determined by the cooling requirements of the components 80. One advantage of the intensifier 10 is that it can be retrofitted into the data center 90. For example, if one or more of the components 83 are replaced by new components that require a higher air flow rate than can be provided by the air flow rate f1 of the ambient Ai, then an additional intensifier 10 can be positioned in the space 50 under the vent tiles 52 that service the new components that require the higher flow rate (e.g. the air flow rate f2).

In FIGS. 16b and 17, an intensifier system 100 includes the intensifier 10 and a control unit 101 in communication with the air flow source 21. The control unit 101 controls the air flow source 21. Communication between the control unit 101 and the air flow source 21 can be an electrical communication in instances where the air flow source 21 is an electrical device, such as an electrically powered fan, for example. An operational parameter of the air flow source 21 that can be controlled by the control unit 101 includes but is not limited to: controlling a power supplied to the air flow source 21 by a power source (e.g. 63); turning the air flow source 21 on or off; and controlling a speed of the air flow source 21 (e.g. RPM of a fan). Control of the power source can be used to turn the air flow source 21 on or off and to control the speed of the air flow source 21.

Optionally, the control unit 101 can monitor the air flow source 21. Monitoring can be important in determining proper operation of the air flow source 21. An operational parameter of the air flow source 21 that can be monitored by the control unit 101 includes but is not limited to: monitoring a speed (e.g. RPM) of the air flow source 21; a state of the air flow source 21, and a temperature of the air flow source 21. The speed of the air flow source 21 can be indicative of a magnitude of the air flow rate f2 of the ambient Ae. The temperature of the air flow source 21 can be monitored to detect an over heating condition. Similarly, the state of the air flow source 21 can be monitored to detect a fault condition, such as a stalled fan, for example.

The control unit 101 can be in communication with one or more sensors. The communication can be an electrical communication or a wireless form of communication such as a radio or an infrared link and the communication can be bi-directional. Parameters that can be sensed by the sensors and communicated with the control unit 101 include but are not limited to temperature, pressure, an air flow rate, humidity, and power consumption. In FIG. 16b, a sensor 103 is positioned in the space 50 to sense a condition in the space 50 such as a temperature of the ambient Ai or the air flow rate f1, for example. A sensor 105 is positioned outside of the space 50 (e.g. above the surface 51) and senses a condition such as the air flow rate f2, a temperature of the ambient Ae, a temperature of the components (e.g. the components 80), and a power consumption of the components, for example.

Examples of sensors (103, 105) that can be in communication with the control unit 101 include current sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, humidity sensors, and flow rate sensors. One or more of the sensors 103 can be positioned in the space 50 and one or more of the sensors 105 can be positioned outside of the space 50. The sensors (103, 105) can sense identical conditions or different conditions. As one example, the component 80 can be a high density rack system that is cooled by the ambient Ae from the intensifier 10 and a current sensor can be used to sense a magnitude of an electrical current being draw by the components 80.

A high current demand by the component 80 can be indicative of a high processing load that will result in the generation of additional waste heat that must be dissipated by the ambient Ae. The current sensor communicates the magnitude of the electrical current to the control unit 101 and the control unit 101 can control the air flow source 21 of the intensifier 10 by increasing the air flow rate f2 (e.g. increasing fan speed), turning on the air flow source 21, or if the air flow rate f2 is at its maximum, then the control unit 101 can shift a portion of the processing load of the component 80 to another component.

Alternatively, the sensor (103, 105) can be used to sense a power condition of or one or more components or of one or more of the power supply units 63. Examples of the power condition include but are not limited to power consumption and a power factor. For instance, one of the power supply units 63 can supply power to one or more of the components 80, an increase in power consumption by the power supply unit 63 is sensed by the sensor and the control unit 101 controls the air flow source 21 of the intensifier 10 that services the component 80 (e.g. increases fan speed). As another example, the sensor 105 can be a temperature sensor that senses the temperature of one of the components 80 that is serviced by the intensifier 10. If the temperature rises above a predetermined threshold value, then the control unit 101 can increase the air flow rate f2 (e.g. increasing fan speed) or turn on the air flow source 21. Conversely, if the temperature is below a predetermined threshold value, then the control unit 101 can decrease the air flow rate f2 or turn off the air flow source 21. Advantages to reducing the air flow rate f2 or turning off the air flow source 21 include energy conservation and a lower operating cost due to reduced power consumption.

Referring again to FIGS. 16b and 17, one or more of the air conditioning units 61 can be in communication with the control unit 101 and can be controlled by the control unit 101. The air conditioning units 61 generate the conditioned air for the ambient Ai. The control unit 101 can turn one or more of the air conditioning units 61 on or off depending on the cooling needs of the components (80, 83), command one or more of the air conditioning units 61 to increase a air flow rate of the conditioned air (e.g. the air flow rate f1), command one or more of the air conditioning units 61 to increase or decrease a temperature of the conditioned air or a humidity of the conditioned air.

Turning to FIG. 17, the intensifier system 100 includes at least one intensifier 10 and one control unit 101. Communication between the control unit 101 and the intensifiers 10, the components 80, the sensors (103, 105), the air conditioning units 61, and the power supply units 63 can be bi-directional as depicted by the dashed arrows. The components 83 are not service by the intensifiers 10 and are positioned adjacent to vent tiles 52 through which the ambient Ai flows. Components 80 are serviced by intensifiers 10 and are positioned adjacent to vent tiles 52 through which the ambient Ae flows. The sensors 103 and the intensifiers 10 are shown in dashed line because they are positioned in the space 50; whereas, the sensors 105 are shown in solid line because they are positioned above the surface 51 (i.e. outside of the space 50). The control unit 101 can be positioned in the space 50, outside of the space 50, or in a remote location (e.g. outside of the data center 90).

Referring to FIG. 18, the control unit 101 can be a computer, such as a PC, a server, a PDA, or a process controller, for example. Interaction and control of the intensifier system 100 and/or the control unit 101 can be accomplished using a keyboard 113, a mouse 115, an Intranet connection 112, a network connection through a network device 109 that is connected with a LAN 114 (hardwired or wireless), and an Internet connection 116. Communication with the Internet 116 may be filtered through a firewall 111. A monitor 117 can be used to monitor a status of the intensifier system 100 and/or the control unit 101.

A computer readable medium 121 can include program instructions (e.g. a computer program) that controls the intensifier system 100. The computer readable medium 121 can be a media including but not limited to a diskette, a CD media, a DVD media, Flash memory, optical storage media, a hard disk drive, read-only-memory, DRAM, MRAM, and random access memory. The computer readable medium 121 can be inserted into the control unit 101, be a component of the control unit 101, or can be an external medium that can be accessed (e.g. read) by the control unit 101. The computer readable medium 121 can include one or more program instructions for controlling the control unit 101 that is in communication with one or more intensifiers 10 that are controlled by the control unit 101.

The program instructions include but are not limited to: a program instruction for controlling the air flow source 21 of the intensifier 10; a program instruction for monitoring the air flow source 21 of the intensifier 10; a program instruction for controlling the air conditioning unit 61 in communication with the control unit 101 and controlled by the control unit 101; a program instruction for monitoring the air conditioning unit 61; a program instruction for controlling a power supply unit 63 in communication with the control unit 101 and controlled by the control unit 101; a program instruction for monitoring the power supply unit 63; a program instruction for controlling a component 80 serviced by the intensifier 10 and in communication with the control unit 101 and controlled by the control unit 101; a program instruction for monitoring the component 80; a program instruction for reading data from at least one sensor (103, 105) in communication with the control unit 101; and a program instruction for causing the control unit 101 to control one or more of the air flow source 21, an air conditioning unit 61 in communication with the control unit 101, a power supply unit 63 in communication with the control unit 101, and a component 80 that is serviced by the intensifier 10 and is in communication with the control unit 101. The program instructions can be written in a computer language such a C, C++, a UNIX® script, JAVA®, and PERL®, for example.

FIGS. 19a through 19d depict examples of alternative shapes for the enclosure 11. For example, a circular shape in FIG. 19a, an angular shape in FIG. 19b, a semi-circular shape in FIG. 19c, and an arcuate shape in FIG. 19d. Suitable materials for the enclosure 11 include but are not limited to metals, plastics, fiberglass, composites, and wood. The enclosure 11 can be fabricated using processes including but not limited to extrusion, molding, forging, stamping, welding, and bending and forming (e.g. as in sheet metal). The aforementioned conduit 31 can be made from materials commonly used in the HVAC art, such as a flexible conduit material used to route heated or cooled air, for example. The air flow source 21 can be an electrically powered fan (e.g. AC or DC powered) and can include but is not limited to radial and axial fans. The aforementioned baffle 11b can have a shape that complements a shape of the intake port 12 and the air flow source 21 can be connected with the baffle 11b.

Although several embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed and illustrated, the invention is not limited to the specific forms or arrangements of parts so described and illustrated. The invention is only limited by the claims.





 
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