In typical data centers, the servers and IT equipment are cooled by air and almost half of total IT power is dedicated to cooling. Hybrid cooling is a combined cooling technology with both air and water, where the main heat generating components are cooled by water or water-based coolants and rest of the components are cooled by air supplied by CRAC or CRAH. Retrofitting the air-cooled servers with cold plates and pumps has the advantage over thermal management of CPUs and other high heat generating components. In a typical 1U server, the CPUs were retrofitted with cold plates and the server tested with raised coolant inlet conditions. The study showed the server can operate with maximum utilization for CPUs, DIMMs, and PCH for inlet coolant temperature from 25–45 °C following the ASHRAE guidelines. The server was also tested for failure scenarios of the pumps and fans with reducing numbers of fans and pumps. To reduce cooling power consumption at the facility level and increase air-side economizer hours, the hybrid cooled server can be operated at raised inlet air temperatures. The trade-off in energy savings at the facility level due to raising the inlet air temperatures versus the possible increase in server fan power and component temperatures is investigated. A detailed CFD analysis with a minimum number of server fans can provide a way to find an operating range of inlet air temperature for a hybrid cooled server. Changes in the model are carried out in 6SigmaET for an individual server and compared to the experimental data to validate the model. The results from this study can be helpful in determining the room level operating set points for data centers housing hybrid cooled server racks.

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