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Research Papers

Analytical Modeling for Thermodynamic Characterization of Data Center Cooling Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Madhusudan Iyengar

 International Business Machines Systems and Technology Group, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601mki@us.ibm.com

Roger Schmidt

 International Business Machines Systems and Technology Group, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601c28rrs@us.ibm.com

J. Electron. Packag 131(2), 021009 (Apr 02, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3103952 History: Received June 30, 2008; Revised December 10, 2008; Published April 02, 2009

The increasingly ubiquitous nature of computer and internet usage in our society has driven advances in semiconductor technology, server packaging, and cluster level optimizations in the IT industry. Not surprisingly this has an impact on our societal infrastructure with respect to providing the requisite energy to fuel these power hungry machines. Cooling has been found to contribute about a third of the total data center energy consumption and is the focus of this study. In this paper we develop and present physics based models to allow the prediction of the energy consumption and heat transfer phenomenon in a data center. These models allow the estimation of the microprocessor junction and server inlet air temperatures for different flows and temperature conditions at various parts of the data center cooling infrastructure. For the case study example considered, the chiller energy use was the biggest fraction of about 41% and was also the most inefficient. The room air conditioning was the second largest energy component and was also the second most inefficient. A sensitivity analysis of plant and chiller energy efficiencies with chiller set point temperature and outdoor air conditions is also presented.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Industry data center rack heat flux trends (4)

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Figure 2

Traditional room air-conditioning design with a raised floor, an underfloor plenum, CRAC units, and perforated tiles

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Figure 3

Cooling energy and heat flow in a data center system

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Figure 4

Data for the reciprocal of COP versus the reciprocal of heat loading for the IBM chiller

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Figure 5

Cooling energy breakdown for the case study example

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Figure 6

Energy efficiency metric for the various cooling components for the case study example

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Figure 7

Variation of total plant cooling and chiller energy efficiency metric with chiller water set point temperature

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Figure 8

Variation of total plant cooling and chiller energy efficiency metric with outdoor air dew point temperature

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