The objective of this work is to introduce the application of an artificial neural network (ANN) to assist in the evaporative cooling in data centers. To achieve this task, we employ the neural network algorithms to predict weather conditions outside the data center for direct evaporative cooling (DEC) operations. The predictive analysis helps optimize the cooling control strategy for maximizing the usage of evaporative cooling thereby improving the efficiency of the overall data center cooling system. A typical artificial neural network architecture is dynamic in nature and can perform adaptive learning in minimal computation time. A neural network model of a data center was created using operational historical data collected from a data center cooling control system. The neural network model allows the control of the modular data center (MDC) cooling at optimum configuration in two ways. First way is that the network model minimizes time delay for switching the cooling from one mode to the other. Second way, it improves the reaction behavior of the cooling equipment if an unexpected ambient condition change should come. The data center in consideration is a test bed modular data center that comprises of information Technology (IT) racks, Direct Evaporative cooling (DEC) and Indirect Evaporative Cooling (IEC) modules; the DEC/IEC are used together or in alternative mode to cool the data center room. The facility essentially utilizes outside ambient temperature and humidity conditions that are further conditioned by the DEC and IEC to cool the electronics, a concept know as air-side economization.
Various parameters are related to the cooling system operation such as outside air temperature, IT heat load, cold aisle temperature, cold aisle humidity etc. are considered. Some of these parameters are fed into the artificial neural network as inputs and some are set as targets to train the neural network system. After the training the process is completed, certain bucket of data is tested and further used to validate the outputs for various other weather conditions. To make sure the analysis represents real world scenario, the operational data used are from real time data logged on the MDC cooling control unit. Overall, the neural network model is trained and is used to successfully predict the weather conditions and cooling control parameters. The prediction models have been demonstrated for the outputs that are static in nature (Levenberg Marquardt method) as well as the outputs that are dynamic in nature i.e., step-ahead & multistep ahead techniques.