Dossier No.6: Fan Controller For Server Racks

ServerRackToday, more and more data are stored or processed on servers and therefore it is becoming more critical to monitor the environment the servers are in such as temperature. Usually, server racks have fans to cool off the hardware. Often these fans are noisy and inefficient and a failure is only noticed once equipment gets too hot and fails. This fan controller actively monitors the internal and external temperature and controls the fan speed accordingly. In case of failures, a local alarm can sound, and/or alerts are sent over the internet by e-mail. Remote login using a standard browser allows for status monitoring and changing configuration without having physical access. Software upgrades can be installed remotely and log data can be downloaded in .csv format.

board_ServerRackElectronic Partners provided a low cost hardware base and utilized existing knowledge of sensors, motor control and internet enabled devices to create a feature set that was required by the client. A new firmware bootloader was developed to allow the end user to easily update the unit when future updates are released.

Features:

  • Low fan noise
  • Reliable monitoring and reporting of alerts
  • Highly configurable
  • Webserver for remote management
  • Internet time synchronization (NTP)

Technology used:

  • Low cost 8-bit Microchip microcontroller design
  • Accurate temperature measurements using NTC thermistors
  • Software written in C
  • Hardware designed in Altium Designer
  • HTTP Server
  • NTP Client
  • Humidity measurement
  • Firmware upgrade through HTTP