PurposeThis aim of this work is to investigate different modelling approaches for air-cooled data centres. The study employs three computational methods, which are based on finite element, finite volume and lattice Boltzmann methods and which are respectively implemented via commercial Multiphysics software, open-source computational fluid dynamics code and graphical processing unit-based code developed by the authors. The results focus on comparison of the three methods, all of which include models for turbulence, when applied to two rows of datacom racks with cool air supplied via an underfloor plenum.Design/methodology/approachThis paper studies thermal airflows in a data centre by applying different numerical simulation techniques that are able to analyse the thermal airflow distribution for a simplified layout of datacom racks in the presence of a computer room air conditioner.FindingsGood quantitative agreement between the three methods is seen in terms of the inlet temperatures to the datacom equipment. The computational methods are contrasted in terms of application to thermal management of data centres.Originality/valueThe work demonstrates how the different simulation techniques applied to thermal management of airflow in a data centre can provide valuable design and operational understanding. Basing the analysis on three very different computational approaches is new and would offer an informed understanding of their potential for a class of problems.
International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 5, 2018
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