CFD – Hot-Cold Aisles in Data Centers
The high performance computing (HPC) systems used to run CFD simulations are often housed in large data centers containing racks of computer servers, disk storage systems and electrical power supplies. These data centers require specially designed environmental controls—with hot and cold aisle containment—to prevent overheating of the electrical equipment.
The goal of both hot and cold aisle containment is to separate the cold supply air from the hot exhaust of the computing equipment, thus creating a predictable and controlled air temperature at the intake of the equipment. Either the hot or the cold aisle can be contained, but it is more effective to contain the hot aisle. Hot aisle containment requires doors at the end of the hot aisle and some type of ductwork above the hot aisle to direct the hot air through the cooling equipment. Thus, the open area of the room is a cold environment, the return air is not mixed, and the more natural path of hot air rising and cold air sinking, results in a more efficient cooling system.
Coanda utilizes hot aisle containment for its HPC cluster and has simulated large data centers with this configuration.