With an increase in the need for energy efficient data centers, a lot of research is being done to maximize the use of Air Side Economizers (ASEs), Direct Evaporative Cooling (DEC), Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) and multistage Indirect/Direct Evaporative Cooling (I/DEC). The selection of cooling configurations installed in modular cooling units is based on empirical/analytical studies and domain knowledge that fail to account for the nonlinearities present in an operational data center. In addition to the ambient conditions, the attainable cold aisle temperature and humidity is also a function of the control strategy and the cooling setpoints in the data center.
The primary objective of this study is to use Artificial Neural Network (ANN) modelling and Psychrometric bin analysis to assess the applicability of various cooling modes to a climatic condition. Training dataset for the ANN model is logged from the monitoring sensor array of a modular data center laboratory with an I/DEC module. The data-driven ANN model is utilized for predicting the cold aisle humidity and temperatures for different modes of cooling. Based on the predicted cold aisle temperature and humidity, cold aisle envelopes are represented on a psychrometric chart to evaluate the applicability of each cooling mode to the territorial climatic condition. Subsequently, outside air conditions favorable to each cooling mode in achieving cold aisle conditions, within the ASHRAE recommended environmental envelope, is also visualized on a psychrometric chart. Control strategies and opportunities to optimize the cooling system are discussed.