Due to the rapid growth in IT demands over the past few decades, the market for data centers also increases dramatically. However, thermal management remains a big issue in the design of large-scale data centers. Although best practices are deployed to utilize perforated tiles together with the hot and cold aisles configuration to improve the thermal management, thermal hotspots are inevitable in IT racks, which causes equipment failures and signal interruptions. Thermal hotspots in air-cooled data centers are due to many factors such as insufficient cold air supply from the raised-floor plenum, air recirculation from hot aisle into cold aisle, airflow non-uniformity at the perforated tiles, etc. One of the ways to mitigate such issues is to uniformly distribute the cold air by properly controlling the airflow rate through perforated tiles. In this study, a validation study of the tile airflow and the rack airflow rate ratio of 20% is carried out using an adopted tile model. Also, several turbulence models are thoroughly investigated, and recommendations are provided for the most accurate and less time-consuming turbulence model when applying to a single rack model.

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