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Modeling and Control for Cooling Management of Data Centers with Hot Aisle Containment

Zhou, Rongliang; Wang, Zhikui
HP Laboratories



Abstract: In traditional raised-floor data center design with hot aisle and cold aisle separation, the cooling efficiency suffers from recirculation resulted from the mixing of cool air provided by the Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units and the hot exhaust air exiting from the back of the server racks. Hot aisle containment, minimizing recirculation and hence increasing cooling efficiency, has been employed by an increasing number of data centers. Based on the underlying heat transfer principles, we present in this paper a dynamic model for a data center with hot aisles containment and design decentralized model predictive controllers (MPC) for the multiple CRAC units. Each MPC controller adjusts its blower speed and supply air temperature (SAT) to regulate the rack inlet temperatures within its zone of influence below the specified temperature constraints, and at the same time minimizes the cooling power consumption. Approach to partition a data center into overlapping CRAC zones of influence is discussed and the controller design within each individual zone is presented. The proposed decentralized cooling control approach is validated in a production data center with hot aisle contained using plastic strips, and the experiment results demonstrate both its stability and ability to reject various disturbances.

9 Pages

External Posting Date: June 21, 2011 [Fulltext]. Approved for External Publication
Internal Posting Date: June 21, 2011 [Fulltext]

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