CFD for Datacenters: Keeping Computational Clusters Clean and Happy
Ensuring Clean Fresh Air at Data Center HVAC / CRAH Inlets and Cool Air Distribution Inside the Building
What we have found interesting about these projects is the quest to ensure that only the cleanest air is entering the buildings and that once inside, it circulates efficiently. Years ago, it used to be just about keeping the banks of servers cooled with massive amounts of HVAC since detailed CFD flow analysis was just not possible given engineering budgets or schedules. Nowadays, the new normal is to perform CFD studies on the exterior and interior air flow. On the exterior of the data center, it is to ensure that the air entering the CRAHs (cooling room air handling units) is not contaminated by engine exhaust (idling trucks at loading docks or delivery stations) or emergency backup generators. On the interior, it is about maximizing the efficiency of the cool air distribution around the banks of servers.
In our CFD consulting business, it has been an interesting shift from circuit-level thermal-fluid analysis (i.e., motherboards and server enclosures) to building-level thermal-fluid analysis or from micro-level to structure-level CFD services. Nowadays, it is all about air-flow around the data center, placing CRAHs (or HVAC units) away from contamination sources, and putting CRAHs outlets in locations to optimize the cool air flow within the rooms.
The following slides and video show just a few of CFD consulting projects. We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable CFD engineers that can work collaboratively with your team to ensure that the project will meet its goals and of course, its budget.