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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Integrating a Data Center Thermal Control System and Individual Fan Controllers for Controlling a Thermal...

March 6, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Integrating a Data Center Thermal Control System and Individual Fan Controllers for Controlling a Thermal Environment in a Data Center Room", for Approval

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors GEISSLER, ANDREW (PFLUGERVILLE, TX); HOLLINGER, MICHAEL C. (ROUND ROCK, TX), filed on October 21, 2013, was made available online on February 20, 2014.

The patent's assignee is International Business Machines Corporation.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This invention relates in general to control systems for cooling data center rooms and more particularly to integrating a data center thermal control system and individual fan controllers within systems within the data center room to minimize the power required for controlling the thermal environment in the data center room.

"A data center is generally housed in a data center room, or other space, that houses numerous electronic systems. In one example, the electronic systems are arranged in racks and multiple racks are arranged into a row. In another example, the electronic systems are housed in server stacks.

"Electronic systems can be configured to house different combinations of components including servers, networking equipment, and storage devices. The components may be embedded in a number of printed circuit (PC) boards, where the PC boards may include a number of subcomponents, such as processors, micro-controllers, video cards, memories and other devices that each dissipate heat during operation.

"In a data center room, power is required to run the electronic systems, however, power is also required to remove heat dissipated by the components of the electronic systems. As the number of components in an electronic system and number of electronic systems in a data center room increases, more power is required to remove the heat dissipated by the electronic systems during operation and control the thermal environment in the data center room.

"In many data centers a thermal control system, such as a Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) unit, is installed to monitor and maintain the air temperature in the entire room. Separately, each system in the data center room may include one or more fans, each controlled by a separate fan controller that controls fan speeds within electronic systems, to control airflow within each system enclosure."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In view of the foregoing, there is a need for a method, system, and program product for integrating the independent data center thermal control system for a data center room that controls an ambient temperature in the data center room, such as a CRAC, with the independent fan controllers in a data center room that control local air flow within systems, to minimize the power required for controlling the overall thermal environment in the data center room.

"In one embodiment, a thermal control system for a data center room, for controlling an ambient temperature in the data center room to meet an ambient temperature set point, receives multiple ambient temperature votes from multiple fan controllers positioned in the data center room each for controlling fan speeds for at least one separate fan from among multiple fans each positioned within a separate system from among multiple systems within the data center room. The thermal control system sets the ambient temperature set point to a lowest ambient temperature specified in the multiple ambient temperature votes, such that the thermal control system and fan controllers operate as independent systems, but are integrated for selecting an ambient temperature that minimizes the power required for controlling a thermal environment in the data center room.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

"The novel features believed characteristic of one or more embodiments of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The one or more embodiments of the invention itself however, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating one example of a thermal control system for monitoring and maintaining the temperature in a data center room and a fan controller for controlling a fan speed of a fan within a system within the data center room, where the thermal control system and the fan controller are independent systems that are not integrated, but both are part of the cooling infrastructure that uses power to control a thermal environment within a data center room;

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating one example of a thermal control system for monitoring and maintaining the temperature in a data center room and multiple fan controllers for controlling the fan speeds of multiple fans within one or more systems within the data center room, where the thermal control system and the fan controllers are independent systems that are integrated for optimizing the overall energy efficiency of the cooling infrastructure of the data center room;

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating one example of a fan controller for controlling a fan speed of a fan within a system within a data center room, where the fan controller determines the fan speed for local cooling within the system and sends an ambient temperature vote to a thermal control system that separately controls cooling of the data center room;

"FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating one example of an ambient set point controller receiving multiple ambient temperature votes from multiple fan controllers and selecting an ambient temperature set point;

"FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating one example of a an ambient set point controller receiving multiple ambient temperature votes from multiple fan controllers, including a controller for a system that is powering off, and selecting an ambient temperature set point;

"FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating one example of a schematic of a computer system in which the present invention may be implemented;

"FIG. 7 is a high level logic flowchart illustrating a process and program for managing a thermal control loop controller of a fan controller independent of, but integrated with a thermal control system; and

"FIG. 8 is a high level logic flowchart illustrating a process and program for setting an ambient temperature set point in a thermal control system based on ambient temperature votes from independent fan controllers."

For additional information on this patent application, see: GEISSLER, ANDREW; HOLLINGER, MICHAEL C. Integrating a Data Center Thermal Control System and Individual Fan Controllers for Controlling a Thermal Environment in a Data Center Room. Filed October 21, 2013 and posted February 20, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1123&p=23&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140213.PD.&OS=PD/20140213&RS=PD/20140213

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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