[Beowulf] small cluster cooling / beer fridges

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Fri Sep 19 04:51:51 PDT 2008

On Thu, 18 Sep 2008, Mark Kosmowski wrote:

>> Questions (same RGB asked):
>> What environmental conditions should such an office have?
>> 1.5ton A/C?
>> 4kW  capable wiring?
>> Beer keg refrigerator?
>> How many air vent and drip holes on the walls, ceiling and windows?
> Assuming the physical dimensions work, would condensation (or anything
> else) be a problem if someone, say a crazy grad student in his non-AC
> basement, were to put a few desktop nodes in a used, cleaned
> refrigerator?  For power into the fridge, a hole could be drilled into
> the hull and then filled in with closed cell foam once the cords are
> poked through.

I don't remember what the cooling capacity is of a refrigerator, but I
sort of doubt it -- all kidding aside.  And the problem is, that if you
exceed the cooling capacity you've actually got your nodes in a sealed,
insulated box...

Even a crazy grad student can e.g. go to wal-mart or target and purchase
a cheap wall-mount AC.  It doesn't take much to remove a few hundred
watts (per node).  All you need then is a some creativity and ductwork
to move the hot air outside (or "upstairs" or "elsewhere" while keeping
the cold air directed on the fronts of the systems.  Or make your own
"refrigerator" by mounting the AC on the side of a box containing the
systems, which I wouldn't completely seal -- just channel the cool
airflow through.  That might cost you $100-200 total, not an insane hit.

> Perhaps even two nodes in one of those small college student beer
> cooler fridges - a 12 pack is roughly the size of a mini-tower...

No, just use the smaller fridge as a beer cooler, as God and nature


> Thanks,
> Mark Kosmowski
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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