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  1. In typical data centers, the servers and IT equipment are cooled by air and almost half of total IT power is dedicated to cooling. Hybrid cooling is a combined cooling technology with both air and water, where the main heat generating components are cooled by water or water-based coolants and rest of the components are cooled by air supplied by CRAC or CRAH. Retrofitting the air-cooled servers with cold plates and pumps has the advantage over thermal management of CPUs and other high heat generating components. In a typical 1U server, the CPUs were retrofitted with cold plates and themore »server tested with raised coolant inlet conditions. The study showed the server can operate with maximum utilization for CPUs, DIMMs, and PCH for inlet coolant temperature from 25–45 °C following the ASHRAE guidelines. The server was also tested for failure scenarios of the pumps and fans with reducing numbers of fans and pumps. To reduce cooling power consumption at the facility level and increase air-side economizer hours, the hybrid cooled server can be operated at raised inlet air temperatures. The trade-off in energy savings at the facility level due to raising the inlet air temperatures versus the possible increase in server fan power and component temperatures is investigated. A detailed CFD analysis with a minimum number of server fans can provide a way to find an operating range of inlet air temperature for a hybrid cooled server. Changes in the model are carried out in 6SigmaET for an individual server and compared to the experimental data to validate the model. The results from this study can be helpful in determining the room level operating set points for data centers housing hybrid cooled server racks.« less
  2. Data centers house a variety of compute, storage, network IT hardware where equipment reliability is of utmost importance. Heat generated by the IT equipment can substantially reduce its service life if Tjmax, maximum temperature that the microelectronic device tolerates to guarantee reliable operation, is exceeded. Hence, data center rooms are bound to maintain continuous conditioning of the cooling medium becoming large energy consumers. The objective of this work is to introduce and evaluate a new end-of-aisle cooling design which consists of three cooling configurations. The key objectives of close-coupled cooling are to enable a controlled cooling of the IT equipment,more »flexible as well as modular design, and containment of hot air exhaust from the cold air. The thermal performance of the proposed solution is evaluated using CFD modeling. A computational model of a small size data center room has been developed. Larger axial fans are selected and placed at rack-level which constitute the rack-fan wall design. The model consists of 10 electronic racks each dissipating a heat load of 8kw. The room is modeled to be hot aisle containment i.e. the hot air exhaust exiting for each row is contained and directed within a specific volume. Each rack has passive IT with no server fans and the servers are cooled by means of rack fan wall. The cold aisle is separated with hot aisle by means of banks of heat exchangers placed on the either sides of the aisle containment. Based on the placement of rack fans, the design is divided to three sub designs — case 1: passive heat exchangers with rack fan walls; case 2: active heat exchangers (HXs coupled with fans) with rack fan walls; case 3: active heat exchangers (hxs coupled with fans) with no rack fans. The cooling performance is calculated based on the thermal and flow parameters obtained for all three configurations. The computational data obtained has shown that the case 1 is used only for lower system resistance IT. However, case 2 and Case 3 can handle denser IT systems. Case 3 is the design that can consume lower fan energy as well as handle denser IT systems. The paper also discusses the cooling behavior of each type of design.« less
  3. Modern day data centers are operated at high power for increased power density, maintenance, and cooling which covers almost 2 percent (70 billion kilowatt-hours) of the total energy consumption in the US. IT components and cooling system occupy the major portion of this energy consumption. Although data centers are designed to perform efficiently, cooling the high-density components is still a challenge. So, alternative methods to improve the cooling efficiency has become the drive to reduce the cooling cost. As liquid cooling is more efficient for high specific heat capacity, density, and thermal conductivity, hybrid cooling can offer the advantage ofmore »liquid cooling of high heat generating components in the traditional air-cooled servers. In this experiment, a 1U server is equipped with cold plate to cool the CPUs while the rest of the components are cooled by fans. In this study, predictive fan and pump failure analysis are performed which also helps to explore the options for redundancy and to reduce the cooling cost by improving cooling efficiency. Redundancy requires the knowledge of planned and unplanned system failures. As the main heat generating components are cooled by liquid, warm water cooling can be employed to observe the effects of raised inlet conditions in a hybrid cooled server with failure scenarios. The ASHRAE guidance class W4 for liquid cooling is chosen for our experiment to operate in a range from 25°C – 45°C. The experiments are conducted separately for the pump and fan failure scenarios. Computational load of idle, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 98% are applied while powering only one pump and the miniature dry cooler fans are controlled externally to maintain constant inlet temperature of the coolant. As the rest of components such as DIMMs & PCH are cooled by air, maximum utilization for memory is applied while reducing the number fans in each case for fan failure scenario. The components temperatures and power consumption are recorded in each case for performance analysis« less