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RESEARCH PAPERS

Optimization of Data Center Room Layout to Minimize Rack Inlet Air Temperature

[+] Author and Article Information
Siddharth Bhopte, Bahgat Sammakia

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  State University of New York at Binghamton, IEEC, PO Box 6000, Vestal Parkway East, Binghamton, NY 13902

Dereje Agonafer

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  University of Texas at Arlington, PO Box 19018, Arlington, TX 76019

Roger Schmidt

 IBM Corporation, Mail Station P932, 522 South Road, Poughkeepsie, NY

J. Electron. Packag 128(4), 380-387 (Jan 05, 2006) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2356866 History: Received May 24, 2005; Revised January 05, 2006

In a typical raised floor data center with alternating hot and cold aisles, air enters the front of each rack over the entire height of the rack. Since the heat loads of data processing equipment continue to increase at a rapid rate, it is a challenge to maintain the temperature of all the racks within the stated requirement. A facility manager has discretion in deciding the data center room layout, but a wrong decision will eventually lead to equipment failure. There are many complex decisions to be made early in the design as the data center evolves. Challenges occur such as optimizing the raised floor plenum, floor tile placement, minimizing the data center local hot spots, etc. These adjustments in configuration affect rack inlet air temperatures, which is one of the important keys to effective thermal management. In this paper, a raised floor data center with 12kW racks is considered. There are four rows of racks with alternating hot and cold aisle arrangement. Each row has six racks installed. Two air-conditioning units supply chilled air to the data center through the pressurized plenum. Effect of plenum depth, floor tile placement, and ceiling height on the rack inlet air temperature is discussed. Plots will be presented over the defined range. A multivariable approach to optimize data center room layout to minimize the rack inlet air temperature is proposed. Significant improvement over the initial model is shown by using a multivariable design optimization approach.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Product family and heat density trend chart (1)

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Figure 2

Typical raised floor data center with alternating hot and cold aisle arrangement (6)

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Figure 3

Data center room layout considered to present the study

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Figure 4

Temperature contours for baseline data center model

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Figure 5

Vector plot showing infiltration of hot air in cold aisle

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Figure 6

Layout of data center showing symmetry

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Figure 7

Grid sensitivity analysis for data center model

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Figure 8

Top portions of racks drawing air from hot aisle and ceiling (6)

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Figure 9

Maldistribution as a function of plenum depth

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Figure 10

Effect of plenum depth on rack inlet temperature

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Figure 11

Schematic of formation of recirculation cells (14)

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Figure 12

Effect of ceiling height on rack inlet temperature

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Figure 13

Basic cause of maldistribution (2)

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Figure 14

Effect of cold aisle location on maldistribution

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Figure 15

Effect of cold aisle location on rack inlet temperature

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Figure 16

Plenum-ceiling optimization code with 49 scenarios

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Figure 17

Thermal performance comparison after PC optimization

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Figure 18

Ceiling-cold aisle location optimization code with 49 scenarios

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Figure 19

Thermal performance comparison after CL optimization

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Figure 20

Plenum-Cold Aisle Location optimization code with 49 scenarios

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Figure 21

Thermal performance comparison after PL optimization

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Figure 22

Plenum-Ceiling-Cold Aisle Location optimization code with 60 scenarios

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Figure 23

Thermal performance comparison after PCL optimization

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Figure 24

Temperature contours for optimized data center model

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