Air-speed sensors improve monitoring of fan operation in server and power-supply boards

Small, surface-mount FS3000 sensor module from Renesas provides a space-saving option for monitoring air flow in densely populated devices, such as a server’s processor board.

Renesas supplies a MEMS-based air-flow sensor module which can be integrated into tightly packed electronics assemblies such as the processor boards in data center servers. 

The FS3000 is an ideal replacement for the temperature sensor used to control the air flow through boards, enclosures and filters, and to detect a failure or malfunction in a fan. The FS3000 is a surface-mount device measuring just 8 mm x 9 mm x 4 mm, for mounting directly on the main system board in servers and power supplies. 

The series contains two product options: the FS3000-1005 measures air velocity in a range from 0 m/s to 7 m/s. The FS3000-1015 has a wider measurement range of 0 m/s to 15 m/s. 

Because today’s server boards are so densely populated, it is difficult for devices such as temperature sensors to accurately measure the local temperature and air flow. Previously, the alternatives available for measuring the speed of cooling air flows have been large rotary fan-based anemometers, or meters based on differential pressure sensors. These products have narrow flow-speed measurement ranges, and are generally unable to measure low-speed flows. They are also too large to be integrated into enclosures in settings such as data centers. 

The FS3000 solves all of these problems, providing an accurate measurement of air flow even in the most tightly packed board assemblies. The MEMS thermopile sensing element provides a fast response time and is highly sensitive to low-volume and low-speed air flows. The module’s digital and sensor circuitry is fully encapsulated so it is resistant to condensation and to clogging. A silicon carbide coating over the MEMS flow sensor protects it from abrasive wear and water condensation.

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