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Control Strategies for Plenum Optimization in Raised Floor Data Centers

Chen, Keke; Federspiel, Clifford C.; Auslander, David M.; Bash, Cullen E.; Patel, Chandrakant D.


Keyword(s): data center cooling; smart cooling; dynamic thermal control; energy optimization; thermal management

Abstract: Contemporary data centers contain a denser aggregation of commodity computing, networking and storage hardware mounted in industry standard racks than before. As a result of high power density in data centers, mechanical engineers face more challenges in cooling system design. One of the objectives for data center cooling systems is to remove dissipated heat efficiently while maintaining the thermal management of hardware. This requires that air conditioning units provide enough cooling resources and deliver them to specific locations. Thus, each link of the cooling system has to be optimized. This paper studies the flow domain of the under-floor plenum in a raised- floor data center. Based on the analysis, flow control strategies were proposed and implemented in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The results demonstrate the possibility of optimizing airflow distribution in raised-floor data centers.

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