CFD – Data Center Project Highlight

Posted on April 15, 2021

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Large data centers, that contain computer systems for cloud computing, require specially designed environmental controls with hot and cold aisle containment to prevent overheating of the electrical equipment. To evaluate the designed cooling capacity of a large 600m2 data center, Coanda modeled the building’s air handling systems using Computational Fluid dynamics (CFD).

The data center was comprised of 6 separate hot aisles, with a chiller and a 2×2 array of centrifugal fans at opposite ends of each hot aisle. All the space surrounding the hot aisles was connected, thus forming cold aisles that could interact in the event of a single chiller failure. The CFD model consisted of about 8 million grid cells and utilized turbulent flow models and heat transfer to evaluate the temperature throughout the data center under normal operating conditions and for different cases of chiller failures.

Due to the interconnected cold aisle concept, the CFD results showed that—even with one failed chiller—the cooling temperature set points in the hot aisles could be maintained, thus demonstrating sufficient cooling redundancy and adequate cold air flow mixing for the proposed design.

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