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Research Papers

Experimental Characterization of Various Cold Aisle Containment Configurations for Data Centers

[+] Author and Article Information
Vikneshan Sundaralingam

G.W. Woodruff School of
Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332
e-mail: vikneshan@gatech.edu

Vaibhav K. Arghode, Yogendra Joshi

G.W. Woodruff School of
Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332

Wally Phelps

Degree Controls Inc.,
Milford, NH 03055

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received June 20, 2013; final manuscript received September 7, 2014; published online October 7, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Pradip Dutta.

J. Electron. Packag 137(1), 011007 (Oct 07, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: EP-13-1052; doi: 10.1115/1.4028520 History: Received June 20, 2013; Revised September 07, 2014

The data center industry has experienced significant growth over the last decade, mainly due to the increased use of the internet for our day to day activities such as e-commerce, social media, video streaming, and healthcare. This growth in demand results in higher energy costs, as data centers can be energy intensive facilities. A significant portion of the energy used in data centers is for cooling purposes. Hence, it is one of the important areas of optimization to be addressed to create more efficient data centers. Among the many ways to increase data center efficiencies, air flow management is a key solution to many existing data centers. Fundamentally, there are three main schemes: hot-aisle containment, cold-aisle containment, and exhaust chimney containment. This paper's focus is to experimentally characterize the following cold aisle configurations: open aisle, partially contained aisle, and fully contained aisles. Experimental data presented to evaluate the effectiveness of the different configurations are rack inlet contour plots, tile and rack flow rates, pressure measurements, and server central processing unit (CPU) temperatures.

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References

Koomey, J. G., 2011, Growth in Data Center Electricity Use 2005 to 2010, Analytic, Oakland, CA.
Schmidt, R., Vallury, A., and Iyengar, M., 2011, “Energy Savings Through Hot and Cold Aisle Containment Configurations for Air Cooled Servers in Data Centers,” ASME Paper No. IPACK2011-52206. [CrossRef]
Shrivastava, S. K., Calder, A. R., and Ibrahim, M., 2012, “Quantitative Comparison of Air Containment Systems,” Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITherm), San Diego, CA, May 30–June 1, pp. 68–77. [CrossRef]
Joshi, Y., and Kumar, P., 2012, Energy Efficient Thermal Management of Data Centers, Springer, New York.
Kinoshita, T., Kimura, T., Muroya, K.,Tanaka, H., Youro, M., and Urata, J., 2010, “Optimization of Operational Conditions for Air-Conditioning Systems With Aisle Capping Method,” 8th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Information and Telecommunication Technologies, (APSITT), Kuching, Malaysia, June 15–18.
Arghode, V. K., Kumar, P., Joshi, Y.,Weiss, T. S., and Meyer, G., 2012, “Rack Level Modeling of Air Flow Through Perforated Tile in a Data Center,” International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), Houston, TX, Nov. 9–15, pp. 1059–1069.
Arghode, V. K., Sundaralingam, V., Joshi, Y., and Phelps, W., 2013, “Thermal Characteristics of Open and Contained Data Center Cold Aisle,” ASME J. Heat Transfer, 135(6), p. 061901. [CrossRef]
Degree Control, 2005, “Accusense F900 Air Velocity and Air Temperature Sensor: User Manual,” Degree Controls, Inc., Milford, NH.
ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9, 2011, “Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments—Expanded Data Center Classes and Usage Guidance,” American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
Kumar, P., and Joshi, Y., 2010, “Experimental Investigations on the Effect of Perforated Tile Air Jet Velocity on Server Air Distribution in a High Density Data Center,” Intersociety Conference on Thermal Phenomena (ITHERM), June 2–5, Las Vegas, NV.

Figures

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Fig. 1

DCL layout schematic

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Fig. 2

Cold aisle containment system

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Fig. 3

Measurement devices

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Fig. 4

Regions occupied by active servers for partially filled racks

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Fig. 5

RLT rack flow rate calibration results

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Fig. 6

Cold aisle configurations tested

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Fig. 7

Contour slice at rank inlet

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Fig. 8

Rack inlet contour plots for different UP cold aisle configurations

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Fig. 9

Rack inlet contour plots for different OP cold aisle configurations

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Fig. 10

Total tile flow rates

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Fig. 11

Total rack flow rates

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Fig. 12

Cold aisle and plenum pressures

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Fig. 13

CPU temperatures for runs 1–4

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Fig. 14

CPU temperatures for runs 5–8

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Fig. 15

Heat removed by CRACH versus RDHX

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