High power dissipation from microprocessors, support chips, memory chips and mass storage has resulted in large overall power dissipation from computer systems. The deployment of these computer systems in large numbers and in very dense configurations in a data center had resulted in very high power densities at room level. These computer systems are deployed in a rack. A standard 2-meter high rack can accommodate an equivalent of 34 thin desktop systems. If the maximum power dissipation from each system is 300W, a single rack in a data center can be assumed to dissipate 7.2 KW. A data center can have hundreds of these 7.2 KW racks. Due to such high heat loads, designing the air conditioning system in a data center using simple energy balance is no longer adequate. Moreover, the data center design cannot rely on intuitive design of air distribution. It is necessary to model the airflow and temperature distribution in a data center. In this paper, a computational fluid dynamics model of a prototype data center is presented to make the case for such modeling. The present paper is devoted to investigate the air flow patterns, temperatures and relative humidity in large compute density data centers. Computational fluid dynamics software is utilized to simulate the data center flow pattern. The paper used the simulation techniques as embedded in the commercially available CFD code (FLUENT 6.2). The CFD modelling techniques solved the continuity, momentum and energy conservation equations in addition to standard k–ε model equations for turbulence closure.

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