Title: CFD modelling of thermal distribution in industrial server centres for configuration optimisation and energy efficiency

Authors: Pierre-Luc Paradis; Drishtysingh Ramdenee; Adrian Ilinca; Hussein Ibrahim

Addresses: Chaire de recherche industrielle en technologies de l'énergie et en efficacité énergétique (t3e), École de Technologie Supérieure, 1100 rue de Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada ' Institut Technologique de Maintenance Industrielle, 175, De La Vérendrye, Sept-Îles (Québec) G4R 5B7, Canada ' Laboratoire de recherche en énergie éolienne (LREE), Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300, allée des Ursulines, Rimouski (Québec) G5L 3A1, Canada ' TechnoCentre éolien, 70 rue Bolduc, Gaspé, QC G4X 1G2, Canada

Abstract: The use of servers for computational and communication control tasks is becoming more and more frequent in industries and institutions. Ever increasing computational power and data storage combined with reduction in chipsets size resulted in the increased heat density and need for proper configurations of the server racks to enhance cooling and energy efficiency. While different methods can be used to model and design new server centres and optimise their configuration, there is no clear guideline in the literature on the best way to design them and how to increase energy efficiency of existing server centres. This paper presents a simplified yet reliable computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model used to qualitatively evaluate different cooling solutions of a data centre and proposes guidelines to improve its energy efficiency. The influence of different parameters and configurations on the cooling load of the server room is then analysed.

Keywords: flow simulation; SolidWorks; data centres; cooling optimisation; energy efficiency; fluid mechanics; heat transfer; CFD; computational fluid dynamic; modelling; thermal distribution; industrial server centres.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPM.2014.061444

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling, 2014 Vol.9 No.1/2, pp.63 - 80

Received: 21 Jan 2013
Accepted: 01 Dec 2013

Published online: 26 May 2014 *

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