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Smart cities, telecommunication, oil and gas… why they are all using outdoor racks

Outdoor server cabinets are a boon to several industries from telecom to transport and so on because they serve a three in one purpose – they store equipment, offer access to network equipment, and ensure protection from unauthorized access.


So, which sectors use outdoor server racks?

1. ‘Smart city’ and Civic projects

Outdoor racks are great for housing CCTV, city surveillance equipment, lighting, signage, smart traffic monitoring systems, and so on. The correctly designed outdoor units have superior shielding, embedded doors, and double walls to help with optimum heat management and ensure the equipment stored inside survives extreme conditions. Some types of racks are specific for say desert conditions to protect against solar radiation. Some of the specially designed enclosures can reduce the inside temperature of the cabinet by half.

2. Telecommunication

They are used to help with broadband connectivity and optical fiber connectivity. Radio and transmission equipment for instance are housed in aluminum, galvanized steel, and stainless steel outdoor enclosures to keep the equipment away from moisture and dust as well as keep it protected in areas where there is high corrosion. They also ensure other equipment is not disturbed and do not emit disturbances above a given level (this is referred to as disturbance emission). Most of the outdoor racks are GI sheets punched and have a vent system that works well in both high-temperature locations and low-temperature ones.

3. Oil and Gas

Outdoor units are designed with a wide range of standard and custom solutions designed to protect sensitive electronics as well as meet the demands of offshore and land-based chemical and petrochemical environments – including exploration, drilling, and storage. Durable stainless steel or aluminum enclosures are best suited for ‘wireline’ applications at oil and gas sites, used primarily to aid in pipe recovery duties and evaluation tasks. These are waterproof.

What do these outdoor racks typically house?

  1. Server equipment

  2. Network switch equipment

  3. Battery cabinets

  4. UPS cabinets

  5. Optical Fibre

  6. Electronic equipment

A quick run-through of points to note in selecting outdoor racks

The cooling and insulation system: Is the rack designed to accommodate heat load from contained equipment and solar radiation? Also, can the rack accommodate multiple temperature zones, for instance storing some equipment at a certain temperature and others at higher temperatures?

  1. Dustproof: Is the outdoor rack efficient in terms of protecting against dust and moisture, both of which can contaminate equipment? What about environmental monitoring devices to alert against temperature spikes?

  2. PDUs: Are they suited for outdoor use as you cannot simply fix your internal server monitoring power distribution units here?

  3. Size: Is the rack large enough to accommodate accessories, such as environmental monitoring devices, and so on as well as appropriate for the floor or wall space?

  4. Security: Does the server rack for instance come in locking front and rear doors? An anti-vandal secure design with locked side and rear panels for instance to eliminate unauthorized access?

Hardy Racks outdoor enclosures are designed directly for outdoor applications. They have a simple, useful, compact, functional construction and offer protection against dust, moisture, corrosion, and vandalism. Contact us today!

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