A newly constructed zonal model based on the velocity propagation method (VPM) was developed as a thermal analysis tool for data centers. A viscous loss model is included, to better account for airflow momentum instead of using the basic power law method (PLM). The zonal model is implemented in the equation-based and object-oriented environment SPARK. A CFD model for a single cold aisle server room configuration was built and analyzed using the commercial software FloTHERM. Cold aisle containment was studied. Results from the zonal model, including both the plenum flow field and rack inlet temperature distributions were compared with those from the CFD package. Good agreement (within 10% average relative error) was obtained between the zonal model predictions and the CFD results. A primary goal of the study is to develop an effective real-time thermal analysis tool based on the zonal approach.

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