Energy savings in data center cooling systems equate to cost savings for the data center operator. Recently, investigators have considered alternative hybrid liquid-air technologies for data center thermal management such as in-row coolers, rear door heat exchangers, and overhead coolers. This study employs the in-house data center modeling tool Villanova Thermodynamic Analysis of Systems (VTAS) software package to ascertain the influence of hybrid liquid-air components on overall data center exergy destruction. The results show that the exergy destruction decreases for a hybrid liquid-air system using only an in-row cooler. As the in-row cooler removes a greater fraction of heat from the hot aisle, the total exergy destruction in the data center increases by a small amount. This analysis is extended for various configurations containing an in-row cooler, an overhead cooler, a rear door heat exchanger, and a CRAH unit to show that using hybrid liquid-air technologies without a CRAH unit is the most thermodynamically favorable.

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