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Is there anyone out there who has witnessed a server-room being flooded with CO2?

What was the state of the servers afterwards?

The de pressurizing of CO2 must have an enormous cooling effect. I could imagine that servers don`t survive this...

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closed as off topic by Zoredache, Iain May 23 '12 at 19:53

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I shudder to think of anyone responding to this who did not survive it... –  Basil May 23 '12 at 19:51
    
Migrate to physics.stackexchange.com –  Jeff Ferland May 23 '12 at 19:59
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Most of the cooling effect would probably be felt on the tanks that held the CO2? Go read up on Boyle's Law and Thermodynamics. –  Magellan May 23 '12 at 20:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've never experienced this myself, but I feel it's safe to say that the cooling effect would be limited to a very small area surrounding the pipe leading from the tank to the nozzle and the nozzle itself. By the time the CO2 exits the nozzle, it has already made the phase transition from liquid to gas, and therefore wouldn't cause appreciable cooling in the rest of the room. At least not enough to damage equipment.

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They wouldn't use liquid CO2, it boils or solidifies at room pressure depending on temperature. The temperature near the point of depressurization would quickly be sucked below -78ºC, causing the liquid to freeze into a solid and plugging the system (possibly spraying dry ice for a few moments before plugging). CO2 Fire suppression systems use compressed, but still gaseous, CO2 and the temperature decrease would not be severe enough to cause problems for anything more than a foot or two from the depressurization point. –  Chris S May 23 '12 at 20:10
    
+1 - As @Adrian pointed out the tanks and lines will get cold (temperature dependent on the agent and delta-P), and the agent released is usually a bit below room temperature at the nozzle, but the volume discharged doesn't really do much to the room temperature. I've worked in environments with Inergen (please consider this instead of CO2 - Safer for your staff), and the engineers sizing the installation told us less than a 5 degree temperature drop could be expected in our configuration. –  voretaq7 May 23 '12 at 20:11
    
Interesting. Good to know. Though I must say, spraying dry ice around certainly sounds exciting. :) –  EEAA May 23 '12 at 20:11

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