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Three computational methods for analysing thermal airflow distributions in the cooling of data centres
University of Leeds, UK.
University of Leeds, UK.
University of Leeds, UK ; DS SIMULIA, Spain.
University of Leeds, UK.
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2018 (English)In: International journal of numerical methods for heat & fluid flow, ISSN 0961-5539, E-ISSN 1758-6585, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 271-288Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This aim of this work is to investigate different modelling approaches for air-cooled data centres. The study employs three computational methods, which are based on finite element, finite volume and lattice Boltzmann methods and which are respectively implemented via commercial Multiphysics software, opensource computational fluid dynamics code and graphical processing unit-based code developed by the authors. The results focus on comparison of the three methods, all of which include models for turbulence, when applied to two rows of datacom racks with cool air supplied via an underfloor plenum. Design/methodology/approach – This paper studies thermal airflows in a data centre by applying different numerical simulation techniques that are able to analyse the thermal airflow distribution for a simplified layout of datacom racks in the presence of a computer room air conditioner. Findings – Good quantitative agreement between the three methods is seen in terms of the inlet temperatures to the datacom equipment. The computational methods are contrasted in terms of application to thermal management of data centres. Originality/value – The work demonstrates how the different simulation techniques applied to thermal management of airflow in a data centre can provide valuable design and operational understanding. Basing the analysis on three very different computational approaches is new and would offer an informed understanding of their potential for a class of problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 28, no 2, p. 271-288
Keyword [en]
Data centre cooling, Finite elements, Finite volume, Lattice Boltzmann, Air conditioning, Computational fluid dynamics, Computational methods, Finite volume method, Graphics processing unit, Temperature control, Thermal variables control, Computational approach, Computational Fluid Dynamics codes, Computer room air conditioners, Data centres, Design/methodology/approach, Graphical processing unit (GPUs), Lattice Boltzmann method, Finite element method
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-33472DOI: 10.1108/HFF-10-2016-0431Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85042482717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-33472DiVA, id: diva2:1188794
Note

 Funding details: 320013, REGIONS, FP7 Regions of Knowledge; Funding details: EP/G036608, EPSRC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Funding text: Purpose – This aim of this work is to investigate different modelling approaches for air-cooled data centres. The study employs three computational methods, which are based on finite element, finite volume and lattice Boltzmann methods and which are respectively implemented via commercial Multiphysics software, open-source computational fluid dynamics code and graphical processing unit-based code developed by the authors. The results focus on comparison of the three methods, all of which include models for turbulence, when applied to two rows of datacom racks with cool air supplied via an underfloor plenum. Design/methodology/approach – This paper studies thermal airflows in a data centre by applying different numerical simulation techniques that are able to analyse the thermal airflow distribution for a simplified layout of datacom racks in the presence of a computer room air conditioner. Findings – Good quantitative agreement between the three methods is seen in terms of the inlet temperatures to the datacom equipment. The computational methods are contrasted in terms of application to thermal management of data centres. Originality/value – The work demonstrates how the different simulation techniques applied to thermal management of airflow in a data centre can provide valuable design and operational understanding. Basing The authors would like to thank 4Energy for both inspiration and part funding of this research and Bios IT for the loan of the direct liquid cooled K40 GPUs. They thank the European Union FP7 Regions of Knowledge (Grant 320013) for funding Greg de Boer. Morgan Tatchell-Evans would like to thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for funding (Grant EP/G036608) and Dan Burdett acknowledges the funding from aql.

Available from: 2018-03-08 Created: 2018-03-08 Last updated: 2018-03-16Bibliographically approved

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