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CtrlS shows how data centers can fight corrosion due to pollution

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It is a common misconception that as equipment in data centers operate in a confined clean space, they are not susceptible to corrosion. The fact however remains that IT equipment is at tremendous risk in locations that have poor air quality. Many data centers in urban locations such as Delhi have reported failures of servers and other equipment caused by pollution.

In India, CtrlS, a leading data center player, has taken cognizance of these issues, and has built a pollution-free datacenter in Noida. Says Sridhar Reddy, CEO & Founder, CtrlS, “Before we built our datacenter in Noida, we conducted a research wherein we found out that one of the major pain points for CIOs on maintaining a datacenter was that hardware had a tendency to get rusted due to high sulphur content. This encouraged us to consider building a datacenter which was pollution free.”

All necessary analysis was conducted by the team led by the data center infrastructure head at CtrlS to assess the outdoor air and indoor environment with regards to corrosion potential. All site specific data about the types and levels of gaseous contamination in the amount of corrosion likely to be formed was analyzed through Corrosion classification coupons (CCCs) to determine necessary environmental controls required. An appropriate contamination control strategy including selection and application of the appropriate chemical filtration systems to clean both the outdoor air being used for pressurization and/or ventilation as well as any re-circulation air was deployed, followed by real-time environmental/atmospheric corrosion monitors to observe accurate and timely data on the performance of the chemical filtration systems as well as the air quality within the data center.

Research conducted by CtrlS revealed that gaseous contaminants (such as Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen, Bromine and Chlorine in isolation or in combination with temperature and/or humidity) when in contact with silver/copper in electronic circuit boards, server cards, cooling equipment, EVA, data communication equipments, can cause electronic corrosion. This may lead to malfunctioning equipment leading to downtime which can further cause data loss, revenue loss and ultimately customer dissatisfaction.

“Data centers have been experiencing rapid rate of hardware failures due to sulphur bearing gases – primarily due to copper creep corrosion on printed circuit boards and corrosion of silver in some components. Hence, CtrlS has deployed world class air filtration and purification technology in its Tier-4 data center that totally removes gaseous contaminants and particulates, and inhibits corrosion caused by airborne contaminants, thereby providing pure air and eliminating equipment corrosion,” says Reddy.

While data centers have always been asked to follow good sustainability practices, CtrlS has pioneered in setting a new benchmark with respect to tackling air pollution – a problem that is set to become more acute over the next few years.

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