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Energy Simulations of Data Centers With Hybrid Liquid/Air Cooling and Waste Heat Re-Use

[+] Author Affiliations
Seungho Mok, Yogendra K. Joshi, Satish Kumar

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Ronald R. Hutchins

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Paper No. IMECE2016-67625, pp. V008T10A008; 12 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 11–17, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5062-6
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


This study focuses on developing computational models for hybrid or liquid cooled data centers that may reutilize waste heat. A data center with 17 fully populated racks with IBM LS20 blade servers, which consumes 408 kW at the maximum load, is considered. The hybrid cooling system uses a liquid to remove the heat produced by high power components, while the remaining low power components are cooled by air. The paper presents three hybrid cooling scenarios. For the first two cases, air is cooled by direct expansion (DX) cooling system with air-side economizer. Unlike the cooling air, two different approaches for cooling water are investigated: air-cooled chiller and ground water through liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger. Waste heat re-use for pre-heating building water in co-located facilities is also investigated for the second scenario. In addition to the hybrid cooling models, a fully liquid cooling system is modeled as the third scenario for comparison with hybrid cooling systems. By linking the computational models, power usage effectiveness (PUE) for all scenarios can be calculated for selected geographical locations and data center parameters. The paper also presents detailed analyses of the cooling components considered and comparisons of the PUE results.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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