In raised-floor data centers, the airflow rates through the perforated tiles must meet the cooling requirements of the computer servers placed next to the tiles. The data centers house a wide range of equipment, and the heat load pattern on the floor can be quite arbitrary and changes as the data center evolves. To achieve optimum utilization of the floor space and the flexibility for rearrangement and retrofitting, the designers and managers of data centers must be able to modify the airflow rates through the perforated tiles. The airflow rates through the perforated tiles are governed primarily by the pressure distribution under the raised floor. Thus, the key to modifying the flow rates is to influence the flow field in the plenum. This paper discusses a number of techniques that can be used for controlling airflow distribution. These techniques involve changing the plenum height and open area of perforated tiles, and installing thin (solid and perforated) partitions in the plenum. A number of case studies, using a mathematical model, are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques.

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