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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 664; doi:10.3390/su9040664

Simulation of Thermal Distribution and Airflow for Efficient Energy Consumption in a Small Data Centers

1
Department of Information management and Information System, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China
2
College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 21 April 2017
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Abstract

Data centers have become ubiquitous in the last few years in an attempt to keep pace with the processing and storage needs of the Internet and cloud computing. The steady growth in the heat densities of IT servers leads to a rise in the energy needed to cool them, and constitutes approximately 40% of the power consumed by data centers. However, many data centers feature redundant air conditioning systems that contribute to inefficient air distribution, which significantly increases energy consumption. This remains an insufficiently explored problem. In this paper, a typical, small data center with tiles for an air supply system with a raised floor is used. We use a fluent (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD) to simulate thermal distribution and airflow, and investigate the optimal conditions of air distribution to save energy. The effects of the airflow outlet angle along the tile, the cooling temperature and the rate of airflow on the beta index as well as the energy utilization index are discussed, and the optimal conditions are obtained. The reasonable airflow distribution achieved using 3D CFD calculations and the parameter settings provided in this paper can help reduce the energy consumption of data centers by improving the efficiency of the air conditioning. View Full-Text
Keywords: data center; airflow distribution; cooling temperature distribution; energy consumption data center; airflow distribution; cooling temperature distribution; energy consumption
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Ni, J.; Jin, B.; Zhang, B.; Wang, X. Simulation of Thermal Distribution and Airflow for Efficient Energy Consumption in a Small Data Centers. Sustainability 2017, 9, 664.

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