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Blanking Panels They Could Save You £200+ a Year

Published by Lee Kelly on 17 January 2020

Blanking panels may seem just useless pieces of metal or plastic that may not seem to have a purpose other than to make your racks look nice. But blanking panels have a much bigger purpose see how they can help you hundreds in cooling bills.

How a Blanking Plate Could Save you Money

Blanking panels can be made from plastic or metal and which one you use depends on your needs, metal panels are normally used if you need the rack to be secure and plastic ones are used to just close up the gaps as a cheap option. By using blanking panels it restricts hot air from circulating back into your rack it does this by covering any empty rack spaces.

The best way to optimise your cooling in a server room or data centre is to only have the air circulate once in your server. If your it circulates twice the second server will be getting heated air from the first server, this means your second server will have to spin the internal fans faster to maintain the internal temperature. This increase in fan speed will end up costing you more and potentially lead to fans malfunctioning and potentially a critical failure.

How Important are Blanking panels Really?

Blanking panels are a lot more important than you realise and the more racks you have the more effective using blanking panels will be. Going into a bit more details you can navigate through the sections below.

  • Material choices for blanking panels
  • Thermal analysis of a rack without blanking panels

Material Choices for Blanking panels

There are two types of blanking panels metal and plastic these both offer advantages and disadvantages which will help you with your decision-making process. Metal blanking panels are a great choice if you are looking for security in your rack these are screwed into the rack and support a wider range of racks but since the material is metal these are at a higher cost than alternatives. Plastic blanking panels are a cheaper alternative to the metal panels and these usually just clip into the rack meaning ease of installation. These panels are usually more limited in the racks that they work in and usually only come in 1U or 2U options.



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Thermal Analysis of a Rack Without Blanking Panels

The best way to look at any improvement of blanking panels is by measuring the energy usage with and without blanking panels this will show you improvements in your efficiency due to reducing the hot air recirculation.

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The image above shows a rack without blanking panels in a specific section and you can see how the hot air is being brought back in and increasing the temperature of the air it pulls in. With this increase in temperature, the fans on the servers will be spinning faster and result in a higher power usage which could cost you up above £200 for a rack with older servers in. By using a simple and cheap blanking panel you could be saving hundreds if not thousands per server room or data centre.

Buying the Right Blanking Panels

So blanking plates are a good choice for any rack and can help you save on your energy bill as well as help keep your servers in a cool and good working order by reducing the amount of heat that can circulate back into the rack and heat up your servers.

If you aren't sure what type of blanking panels to get you can give our expert team a call on 0808 164 0608 and find out the best plates for you and your system, or drop them an email here.