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Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer

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bowlinra
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2012/07/18 23:17:25 (permalink)
Purpose:
- Move those monster heat producing folding rigs out of house, so that I might be able to afford the air conditioning electric bill during the summer. For more details check my other thread Uncle!! Power Company you Win!
 
Design Goals:
- Rack design that would accommodate large air flow. (Air temperature in the garage was going to get hot, so  I was thinking a 20in box fan would be a good start.)
- Accommodate a Keyboard, Monitor and Mouse for basic maintenance
- Needed UPS, one for the frequent power outages but secondly I may need to move it across my garage and wouldn't want to shutdown the whole rack.
- Keep Cheap but Practical
 
Building Materials:
  $0 - 6 2x4x8 Standard lumber ($2.75 per, I had on-hand)
  $0 - 3/4 x 49 x 97 S11 White Thermally-fused Melamine (Only need ~24.5in x 34in) ($36 for sheet, I had on-hand)
 $9 - 2 - 1/2 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Handy Panel ($8.87 per, had one on-hand)
$16 - Lasko 20 in. 3-Speed Box Fan ($15.96 per
$10 - 1/4 in. x 48 in. x 96 in. Tempered Hard Board "Masonite" (~$10 for sheet)
$24 - 4 - 4" Cast Iron/Molded Rubber Swivel Caster ($5.99 per)
$33 - 2 - Crown Bolt 1-1/2 in. x 72 in. Steel Plain Slotted Angle ($16.48 per)
  $7 - Grip-Rite #8 x 2-1/2 in. Coarse Steel Bugle-Head Phillips Drywall Screws (1 lb. Pack) ($6.47 Box)
  $4 - 18 Zinc Plated 1/4 in x 1-1/2 in. Hex Head Lag Screw (~$4 individual screws from the Hardware section)
$10 - Pint Discounted / Returned Paint
------------ 
$113 - My out of pocket cost 
 
Step 1 - Built frame from Southern pine 2x4 and using 2 1/2 in dry wall screws. Wanted to support 21 1/2in width by 5in deep box fan, 24in shelves for servers and stable for castors.

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Step 2 - Fitted the fan and added rack rails using slotted angle iron with 1in lag screws.

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Step 3 - I also pre-drilled holes to shift the rack rails up or down depending future rig requirements.

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Step 4 - Add malemine, fitted the MDF 1/2 shelves, added 4in casters and grabbed some discounted / returned paint (it was labeled black, but as you see, not so much. )

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Step 5 - Add masonnite for slides, mostly to contain air flow thru the length of the rack, but it also improves the spouse approval rating.

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Step 7 - Loaded up the UPS, monitor, keyboard, mouse and my AMD 4P and 2P rigs.

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Backside View:

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Future Steps:
- Still debating getting a USB KVM switch.
- Add Cable management, I want to run everything for a few weeks before zip tieing things down.
- Add additional rack mountable UPS.
- Make a besizel around the UPS (UPS fits 19in rack size, where this rack is 21.5in)
- Add window screen doors to front and back, mostly to keep dead bugs from collecting within the rack.
 
Improvements:  <If I was to build another, I'd might...>
  • I got a good deal on the 4in castor, but they scream overkill. I didn't get locking one, it wasn't a big deal until I went to slide in the 75 lbs UPS. I would reconsider all 3in casters and with 2 locking one.
  • I really wanted the rack on UPS, but I could easily run >560W per rig. To use a single UPS, I would have had to step up to a 2200 VA system, requiring special 20A circuits, plugs and I'm not sure they even make a 20A extension cord. I really didn't look into that much, probably so have spent more time on it.
  • I debated the rack height the most. Taking Casters (5 inches), 2 UPS (8 inches), 1 box fan (21 1/2 inches), the rack would only be ~38 inches tall, easily working for 2 servers with tall CPU coolers but offer no room for growth. I add another 12 inches for one more shelf and some space for a KVM switch and anything else needed. The issues is the top shelf isn't able to utilize the box fan, and I'd need to create something to really use it.
  • Since the box fan in the front of the rack, block easy access to the shelves, I have all the motherboard connections toward the back of the rack, this caused some issue with the length of the PSU cables so my 4P shelf isn't laid out as well as I would have like. Maybe some cable extensions or adding a few inches of length to the shelf, could correct it.
  • Testing this rack in July certainly keep me watchful. Temperature here has been close to 100F for the better part of 3 weeks now. Garage temp is running about 96F when I get home from work (w/ 12ft ceiling and attic ladder cracked open). I'm looking at adding an attic fan to help pull the heat out of the garage.
 
  Special Thanks to Musky who inspired me to attempt this project. 
post edited by bowlinra - 2012/07/19 00:07:03

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#1

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    notfordman
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/18 23:37:28 (permalink)
    Looks nice and solid. I was gonna ask how hot your garage is, I know mine is h o t. Good job man!
    #2
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 00:02:20 (permalink)
    notfordman
     Looks nice and solid. I was gonna ask how hot your garage is, I know mine is h o t. Good job man!

    Max in the last 3 days has been 97F. I've seen my AMD 4P board has high as 54C, but compared to my GPU inside the house hitting 85C. I'm feeling pretty good so far.

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    texinga
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 05:20:14 (permalink)
    Sweet looking cost effective rack...I like it!! 
     
    As long as we are "thinking outside the box" here.  I have a thought about garage placement, heat, dust etc that I'll float.  In my garage, heat isn't as much a factor as humidity and dust are because my garage floor isn't sealed and of course the garage itself isn't air-conditioned.  Gotta do that floor sealing one day too. 
     
    But here's my idea for the heat problem and I'm no HVAC expert, so this may have some things that I miss.  Assuming that you can access your main duct distribution point, how about running a single small duct over to your Server config for cooling.  It could have some form of flow control in the duct so that you weren't over-doing it or messing up your existing house flow.  I was envisioning a plenum that could be fashioned out of standard sheet metal.  The duct fits into the back of the plenum and the plenum broadens out to basically span the Server rack backside to feed cool air into the rack.  Sort of like a vent-a-hood in reverse.
     
     



    #4
    tanner2
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 08:02:26 (permalink)
    Against code to have garage access to your house heating system. Fumes.

     
              
                 
      


    #5
    z3r0t0l0rence
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 08:20:14 (permalink)
    tanner2

    Against code to have garage access to your house heating system. Fumes.

     
    Tanner is correct.  Per state and federal code you can not run open duct in the garage.  Best to use a portable AC unit if you want to cool the server.

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    texinga
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 09:58:40 (permalink)
    Yes, that makes sense on the "fumes".  A small portable unit could be the ticket!  My main interest was to prevent running a multi-thousand$ rig in 90-100F (or more) ambient temps.  While it may be doable, I have to believe that over time, it will take a toll on the components.



    #7
    z3r0t0l0rence
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 13:27:14 (permalink)

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    #8
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/19 16:29:14 (permalink)
    Portable AC unit runs about ~1000W. I'm guessing here, but would think this would be MORE expensive than just leaving it inside the house.
     
    If I can keep the servers roughly under 54C during the high heat of afternoon, during the hottest months of the year. Why cool them at all?
    post edited by bowlinra - 2012/09/20 22:05:09

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    z3r0t0l0rence
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/20 08:42:54 (permalink)
    This looks to be the most efficient.
     
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/KuulAire-Portable-Evaporative-Cooling-Unit-with-175-sq-ft-Cooling-Capacity-Black-PACKA44/20469117
     
    Spec sheet.
     
    http://www.kuulaire.com/files/pdfs/2012/05/10//PACKA442012.pdf 
     
    115w max so this seems to be the most efficient one that I've found.  Honestly I've used one of these a long time ago in my garage to which cooled the air while working on my car.  Wasn't like drastic but did work for what I used it for.  Just have to keep an eye on the water level.  Doesn't really put humidity in the air.
    post edited by z3r0t0l0rence - 2012/07/20 08:48:29

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    nikkocortez
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/21 12:54:22 (permalink)
    Nice!  I have been wanting to do something similar myself but while the cabinet is the easy part, building the rigs is not at the moment.  If I ever get into massive machine folding again I will probably have one SR-2 and then a heap of ITX machines.
     
    Personally I would have made it 6 ft. tall but then again it would be a monster to fill and power.  With me being in the Military and moving every 4 years it would be a pain to haul along with the other house hold goods.  I like the idea of an Air cooler.  That could really be a help if you build it in right.  So far though its looking great!
     
    Just wanted to read through it one more time.... I would HIGHLY suggest that if you do enclose this rack that you make a filter system for it if its in the garage.  You don't want dust and debris piling up in there from wood cutting or any other projects and such.  I would think some cheap home air filters would work.
    post edited by nikkocortez - 2012/07/21 13:09:13
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    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/21 21:54:07 (permalink)
    nikkocortez
    Just wanted to read through it one more time.... I would HIGHLY suggest that if you do enclose this rack that you make a filter system for it if its in the garage.  You don't want dust and debris piling up in there from wood cutting or any other projects and such.  I would think some cheap home air filters would work.

    I'm thinking of making a custom window screen into a door for both the front and the back.

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    #12
    MexicanPlumber
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/21 23:44:48 (permalink)
    looks awesome. I saw rack and thought servers. not open air computers lol
     
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    Johnny_Utah
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/22 08:22:27 (permalink)
    Great job!  You have really inspired me (and a lot of others) with your posts.  Thank you!

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    #14
    Gratuitous
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/23 15:59:15 (permalink)
    z3r0t0l0rence

    This looks to be the most efficient.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/KuulAire-Portable-Evaporative-Cooling-Unit-with-175-sq-ft-Cooling-Capacity-Black-PACKA44/20469117

    Spec sheet.

    http://www.kuulaire.com/files/pdfs/2012/05/10//PACKA442012.pdf 

    115w max so this seems to be the most efficient one that I've found.  Honestly I've used one of these a long time ago in my garage to which cooled the air while working on my car.  Wasn't like drastic but did work for what I used it for.  Just have to keep an eye on the water level.  Doesn't really put humidity in the air.


    nice looking rack! a couple thoughts, if you ever need more space build it so a second box fan can cool the top half. also I wouldn't try evaporative cooling like the link. you would have to have that blowing right on the equipment because it only cools 150sq ft. you garage is probably more like 500 squr feet and you said high ceilings. if you blow that right on your equipment, you may get damage from the high humidity they create close to the unit.

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    #15
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/07/24 23:49:52 (permalink)
    Gratuitous
    nice looking rack! a couple thoughts, if you ever need more space build it so a second box fan can cool the top half. also I wouldn't try evaporative cooling like the link. you would have to have that blowing right on the equipment because it only cools 150sq ft. you garage is probably more like 500 squr feet and you said high ceilings. if you blow that right on your equipment, you may get damage from the high humidity they create close to the unit.

    Yea, I'm not going the portable AC route. It's not going to get any hotter than it been over the last 3 weeks, my overclocked Quad server is peaking at about 54C when the inside of garage is about 97F. I don't even bother to checking the stock Dual server, I don't think it can run over 47C.
     
    The garage will build up heat, without a window cracked / open. Overnight it will increase by 6 - 8 degrees,so I'm planning to put in a $90 Attic fan and maybe a $15 vent to allow some outside air in for improved circulation. Hope to get the fan installed by this weekend and report back.
     

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    #16
    Sleinous
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/08/07 23:00:19 (permalink)
    Very nice setup! Fold on!

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    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/09/20 22:12:17 (permalink)
    Update: September has cool off alot, never got around to installation the attic fan or vent, just return it back to Home Depot. I just had a window open and the attic ladder cracked open for the month of August.
     
    Now the debate is should I bring them back inside the house for heat over the winter or just keep them in the garage?

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    wrinvert
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/09/20 22:27:56 (permalink)
    bowlinra nice idea and setup. are you able to turn the cpu coolers so they push with you box fan instead of at a 90'? it might cool just alittle bit better if you can.
     
    as for your home heating, i would bring them in. if your going to spend the money to run them might as well get use out of everything they are doing. ie space heaters. i have a rig in every room over the winter and just turn clients on and off (once finished of coarse) to control the temps.


     
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    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/09/22 23:57:53 (permalink)
    wrinvert
    bowlinra nice idea and setup. are you able to turn the cpu coolers so they push with you box fan instead of at a 90'? it might cool just alittle bit better if you can.

     
    You could shift the fans on the motherboard or layout the motherboards differently in the rack.. I was afraid in-line would push the CPU fan beyond their limits and burn them up.. Cooling isn't really a problem, a 20in fan can move alot of air.

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    #20
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2012/10/31 21:16:39 (permalink)
    Oct Update:
    Rack still running strong.. Weathered the summer heat without issues. Never got around to installing the attic fan, so I returned it. So far it keeping my garage in the upper 60's.
     
    I have been thinking about moving the rigs back inside the house for the heating, there is really no reason to heat the garage and theoretically lows my heat cost for inside the house. It's just running so well,  I hate to touch it. I had a storm power outage for just a single reboot in the last 90 days.

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    #21
    Afterburner
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/03/18 06:28:12 (permalink)
    Just checking in with you on this... Still happy? I have two servers inbound and am debating how or what to do for a rack...

    #22
    AzN-SoLjA
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/03/18 08:17:27 (permalink)
    Homemade awesomeness, hows this build 8 months later?

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    #23
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/03/18 18:02:09 (permalink)
    Afterburner
    Just checking in with you on this... Still happy? I have two servers inbound and am debating how or what to do for a rack...

    I've actually move the servers inside the house for the winter (East Coast). I decide there was no reason to heat the garage and the house. Moving the server inside has show them to be more unstable vs the garage.. (Likely because a had a 20in box fan running on them in the garage, I don't have that inside) I plan to move them back to the garage as soon as the we need the AC inside.

    SMP: 4x AMD 61xx@3.0Ghz - 4x AMD 6176SE@2.71Ghz - 4x AMD 6172@2.41Ghz  - 2x AMD 62xx@3.3Ghz
     
    My Setup:  Home Rack Garage Build  |  How to fold Big Points - AMD 4P / Quad Socket Design and Build Guide  |  Find some deals EVGA's AMD 4P Deals

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
     
    #24
    cp256
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/03/26 14:53:48 (permalink)
    I think it's a great idea to put the heat into the garage instead of the house during the warm months. I wish it was practical for me to do that, but the garage is 80 feet away, not lockable atm and easily hits 45c/113f on the warmer days of summer.
     
    The 17'x17' back wing of my house is my NOC for my business and usually has about 10 boxes running at any given time. It takes a 12,000 BTU (1 ton) AC running almost flat out to get keep it under 76f on the hotter days of the year. I'm thinking of installing an 18,000 mini-split setup this spring. It's an old house with hot water heating so no central air or easy way to install it.
     

    Folding Rig #1: SM H8QGi-F - 4x6172 Opterons @2520 Mhz w/CM 212+'s - 16GB
    Folding Rig #2 SM H8QME-2 - 4x8439 Opterons w/4x CM Hyper 101 + 8x 46 CFM 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #3 "The Ankle-Biter" - SM H8QM3-2 - 4x8425 Opterons + Nidec "Screamer" 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #4: X58 Classy3 - i7-990X @4.5 on 3x120 Juice, 12GB, 1x GTX980 K|NGP|N, 2x GTX680
    #25
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/04/01 20:46:53 (permalink)
    cp256
    I think it's a great idea to put the heat into the garage instead of the house during the warm months. I wish it was practical for me to do that, but the garage is 80 feet away, not lockable atm and easily hits 45c/113f on the warmer days of summer.
     
    One thing to think about, with enough air flow.. 45C is still doable. CPU can run 60C - 100C. You could look into adding vents and/or an attic fan to cut down the higher temps..
     
    You have to be burning alot of money to power the cooling..

    SMP: 4x AMD 61xx@3.0Ghz - 4x AMD 6176SE@2.71Ghz - 4x AMD 6172@2.41Ghz  - 2x AMD 62xx@3.3Ghz
     
    My Setup:  Home Rack Garage Build  |  How to fold Big Points - AMD 4P / Quad Socket Design and Build Guide  |  Find some deals EVGA's AMD 4P Deals

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
     
    #26
    cp256
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/04/02 11:53:58 (permalink)
    I'm planning to build a somewhat similar free standing rack for the "basement server farm." The wife won't stand for any more fan noise in the computer room. She's already complaining that the i7 with the 680's sounds like a "wind tunnel" and she doesn't even know about the three in progress 4p systems yet.  The added bonus is that the basement is usually 5 to 10 degrees cooler than upstairs.
     

    Folding Rig #1: SM H8QGi-F - 4x6172 Opterons @2520 Mhz w/CM 212+'s - 16GB
    Folding Rig #2 SM H8QME-2 - 4x8439 Opterons w/4x CM Hyper 101 + 8x 46 CFM 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #3 "The Ankle-Biter" - SM H8QM3-2 - 4x8425 Opterons + Nidec "Screamer" 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #4: X58 Classy3 - i7-990X @4.5 on 3x120 Juice, 12GB, 1x GTX980 K|NGP|N, 2x GTX680
    #27
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/04/28 20:04:04 (permalink)
    Moving back to the garage as Spring 2013 is heating up. Almost 1.1M PPD racked up.
     

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    SMP: 4x AMD 61xx@3.0Ghz - 4x AMD 6176SE@2.71Ghz - 4x AMD 6172@2.41Ghz  - 2x AMD 62xx@3.3Ghz
     
    My Setup:  Home Rack Garage Build  |  How to fold Big Points - AMD 4P / Quad Socket Design and Build Guide  |  Find some deals EVGA's AMD 4P Deals

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
     
    #28
    cp256
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/04/29 11:05:27 (permalink)
    Awesome setup!
     
    Hope I get mine to that level before the wife murders me.
     

    Folding Rig #1: SM H8QGi-F - 4x6172 Opterons @2520 Mhz w/CM 212+'s - 16GB
    Folding Rig #2 SM H8QME-2 - 4x8439 Opterons w/4x CM Hyper 101 + 8x 46 CFM 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #3 "The Ankle-Biter" - SM H8QM3-2 - 4x8425 Opterons + Nidec "Screamer" 80MM Fans - 16GB
    Folding Rig #4: X58 Classy3 - i7-990X @4.5 on 3x120 Juice, 12GB, 1x GTX980 K|NGP|N, 2x GTX680
    #29
    bowlinra
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    Re:Home Rack Garage Build - Beating the Folding Heat of Summer 2013/07/29 19:30:40 (permalink)
    I wanted to add a little warning, If you putting several in a rack, you need to pay close attention how there plugged into the wall. If your server is running at 700W, that about ~7A, most wall outlets are only 15A. I learned the hard way, but fortunately I didn't catch my house on fire, in another post:
     
    Safety First - Watch your extension cords
     

    SMP: 4x AMD 61xx@3.0Ghz - 4x AMD 6176SE@2.71Ghz - 4x AMD 6172@2.41Ghz  - 2x AMD 62xx@3.3Ghz
     
    My Setup:  Home Rack Garage Build  |  How to fold Big Points - AMD 4P / Quad Socket Design and Build Guide  |  Find some deals EVGA's AMD 4P Deals

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
     
    #30
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