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Research Papers

Investigation of the Mechanism of Temperature Rise in a Data Center With Cold Aisle Containment

[+] Author and Article Information
Mingrui Zhang

Key Laboratory of Efficient Utilization
of Low and Medium Grade Energy,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China

Zhengwei Long, Hao Zhang, Xionglei Cheng

School of Environmental Science
and Engineering,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China

Qingsong An

Key Laboratory of Efficient Utilization
of Low and Medium Grade Energy,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China
e-mail: anqingsong@tju.edu.cn

Chao Sun

School of Computer Science and Technology,
Tianjin University,
Tianjin 300072, China

Xiaowei Li

China Ship Development and Design Center,
Wuhan 430064, China

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ELECTRONIC PACKAGING. Manuscript received July 15, 2018; final manuscript received February 19, 2019; published online May 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Baris Dogruoz.

J. Electron. Packag 141(4), 041002 (May 08, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: EP-18-1059; doi: 10.1115/1.4043157 History: Received July 15, 2018; Revised February 19, 2019

This paper theoretically investigates the relationships among factors that affect the temperature rise of server racks and experimentally tests the influence of variable space contained arrangements on the thermal performance. To express the flow and heat transfer process of cold air in servers and analyze the critical factors affecting the temperature rise, a simplified mathematical model representing servers is developed using experimental results. An experiment is conducted within a modular data center in which cold air is supplied from a raised floor. The experiment employed a variable space of cold aisle containment and measured the resulting temperature rise, as well as pressure difference of racks and other parameters, in the simplified mathematical model. By comparing the experimental results and theoretical calculation, the theoretical model is proved to be reasonable and valid. The model predicts that the critical factors affecting the temperature rise of racks consist of static and dynamic pressure difference, total pressure of the fans, geometric structure, power consumption, resistance of doors, and opening area of servers. The result shows that the factor affected by the cold aisle contained system is the static pressure, while for the dynamic pressure difference, the contained architecture has a slight positive effect. Although the average temperature rise is quite decreased in the contained system, the static pressure distribution is nonuniform. A half-contained system which reduced contained space ratio to 50% is measured to cause a 22% increase of the static pressure difference, making a more uniform temperature distribution.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Three-dimensional schematic of the data center

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Fig. 2

The experimental modular data center of fully contained cold aisle

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Fig. 3

Experimental cases: (a) uncontained aisle (b) contained aisle, and (c) halving aisle

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Fig. 4

Air flow through the layered structure

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Fig. 5

Computational procedure of ΔT

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Fig. 6

Measured temperature rises ΔT for cases 1–3: (a) case 1: open cold aisle system, (b) case 2: cold-aisle containment system, t = 100%, and (c) case 3: half-contained system, t = 50%

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Fig. 7

Measured total supply air flow rate of racks 1–5 for cases 1–3

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Fig. 8

Measured ΔPj contour plot for cases 1–3

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Fig. 9

Measured average ΔPd of each rack for cases 1–3

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Fig. 10

Comparison between the measured temperature rise of the air across the servers and the theoretical computation model

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