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Title: An Accurate Fast Fluid Dynamics Model for Data Center Applications

Abstract

Traditional CFD is broadly useful in the design and operation of reliable and efficient data centers. It is nevertheless computationally expensive, particularly when employed for design optimization, which usually requires multiple simulations. To speed-up calculations while retaining essential airflow physics, several researchers have turned to an alternative CFD methodology, namely, fast fluid dynamics (FFD). FFD has been reported to be much faster than traditional CFD, but at an assumed (acceptable) trade-off of reduced accuracy. However, a recent comparison of FFD and traditional CFD for data center plenum applications produced nearly indistinguishable results and suggested that previously-reported FFD/traditional-CFD differences were due primarily to inconsistent: 1) advection schemes, 2) computational grids, and 3) turbulence models. The present paper extends this FFD/traditional-CFD comparison to the data center whitespace and confirms the finding that a true like-for-like comparison produces nearly identical predictions. Our FFD implementation utilizes a first-order upwind finite-volume scheme for advection like traditional CFD, so alternative advection schemes (e.g., semi-Lagrangian) are not considered further here. Likewise, the effect of grid choice on traditional-CFD predictions is well known. However, the effect of turbulence model for data center applications has not been reported extensively so we do consider this topic further here. We comparemore » the standard k-e and a simpler algebraic model to benchmark experimental data from a real data center. We find that the algebraic turbulence model predicts rack-inlet temperatures at a similar level-of-accuracy as the k-e model for our fairly-simple-airflow reference data center.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Schneider Electric
  2. University of Colorado Boulder
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Colorado Boulder
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1545561
Report Number(s):
DOE-CUB-0007688-1
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007688
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2019 18th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITherm), 28-31 May 2019, Las Vegas, NV, USA
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; CFD, Data Center, FFD, Fractional-Step, SIMPLE, Turbulence Model

Citation Formats

Tian, Wei, VanGilder, James W., Condor, Michael B., Han, Xu, and Zuo, Wangda. An Accurate Fast Fluid Dynamics Model for Data Center Applications. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1109/ITHERM.2019.8757336.
Tian, Wei, VanGilder, James W., Condor, Michael B., Han, Xu, & Zuo, Wangda. An Accurate Fast Fluid Dynamics Model for Data Center Applications. United States. doi:10.1109/ITHERM.2019.8757336.
Tian, Wei, VanGilder, James W., Condor, Michael B., Han, Xu, and Zuo, Wangda. Thu . "An Accurate Fast Fluid Dynamics Model for Data Center Applications". United States. doi:10.1109/ITHERM.2019.8757336. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1545561.
@article{osti_1545561,
title = {An Accurate Fast Fluid Dynamics Model for Data Center Applications},
author = {Tian, Wei and VanGilder, James W. and Condor, Michael B. and Han, Xu and Zuo, Wangda},
abstractNote = {Traditional CFD is broadly useful in the design and operation of reliable and efficient data centers. It is nevertheless computationally expensive, particularly when employed for design optimization, which usually requires multiple simulations. To speed-up calculations while retaining essential airflow physics, several researchers have turned to an alternative CFD methodology, namely, fast fluid dynamics (FFD). FFD has been reported to be much faster than traditional CFD, but at an assumed (acceptable) trade-off of reduced accuracy. However, a recent comparison of FFD and traditional CFD for data center plenum applications produced nearly indistinguishable results and suggested that previously-reported FFD/traditional-CFD differences were due primarily to inconsistent: 1) advection schemes, 2) computational grids, and 3) turbulence models. The present paper extends this FFD/traditional-CFD comparison to the data center whitespace and confirms the finding that a true like-for-like comparison produces nearly identical predictions. Our FFD implementation utilizes a first-order upwind finite-volume scheme for advection like traditional CFD, so alternative advection schemes (e.g., semi-Lagrangian) are not considered further here. Likewise, the effect of grid choice on traditional-CFD predictions is well known. However, the effect of turbulence model for data center applications has not been reported extensively so we do consider this topic further here. We compare the standard k-e and a simpler algebraic model to benchmark experimental data from a real data center. We find that the algebraic turbulence model predicts rack-inlet temperatures at a similar level-of-accuracy as the k-e model for our fairly-simple-airflow reference data center.},
doi = {10.1109/ITHERM.2019.8757336},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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