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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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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