The concept of thermal zones has been proposed in recent years as a means for providing operational information regarding which physical areas (or zones) in a data center are being supplied by the different air conditioning units, in order to gain insights as to optimal use of cooling equipment [1, 2]. One methodology for computing such thermal zones consists of explicit tracing of streamlines of an air velocity field [2]. In the present work, we propose an alternative technique which does not require explicit tracing of streamlines. Specifically, the problem of identifying thermal zones is being formulated as a boundary value problem for convective transport. Using a numerical method capable of solving convection-dominated problems accurately leads to identification of the zones by a simple postprocessing of the numerical solution of the boundary value problem, making the procedure convenient to apply, especially in three-dimensional domains.

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