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Comparison of Numerical Modeling to Experimental Data in a Small, Low Power Data Center Test Cell

[+] Author Affiliations
Ethan Cruz, Madhusudan Iyengar, Roger Schmidt

International Business Machines, Poughkeepsie, NY

Yogendra Joshi

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Paper No. IMECE2009-12860, pp. 1437-1445; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


As the performance of Information Technology (IT) equipment continues to rise, so do the power dissipated and overall power density. Air cooling this increasing power has proved a significant challenge even at the data center level. In order to combat this challenge, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer (CFD/HT) models have been employed as the dominant technique for the design and optimization of both new and existing data centers. This study is a continuation of earlier comparisons of CFD/HT models to experimentally measured temperature and flow fields in a small data center test cell. It compares previously unpublished experimentally collected data for the 11 kW dissipation cases using three different layouts of perforated tiles to a CFD/HT model using eight turbulence models and a laminar flow model. Insight into the location of the deviation between the different turbulence models and experimental data are discussed, along with the computational effort involved in running the CFD/HT models. It was found that the laminar flow model and the Spalart-Allamaras turbulence model produced the smallest deviations from experimental data, but the former required only one twentieth of the computational effort of the latter.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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