Experimental Demonstration and Flow Network Model Verification of Induced CRAH Bypass for Cooling Optimization of Enclosed-Aisle Data Centers

Erden H. S., Koz M., Yildirim M. T., Khalifa H. E.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPONENTS PACKAGING AND MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY, vol.7, no.11, pp.1795-1803, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/tcpmt.2017.2737878
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1795-1803
  • Keywords: Containment, computer room air handlers (CRAH) bypass (BP), data center, experiment, flow network modeling (FNM), optimization
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Aisle containment separates hot and cold aisles in air-cooled data centers to prevent hot air recirculation into cold aisle and decrease temperature nonuniformity among the servers. Uniform server inlet temperatures allow the cooling system to operate more efficiently at a higher evaporator temperature. Lower cooling power consumption can be achieved by optimizing the combined power consumption of the chillers and the computer room air handlers (CRAHs) fans. CRAH bypass (BP) is proposed, in which additional fans at the tiles induce a fraction of tile flow from the room into the plenum through low-resistance ports or leakage paths, thus decreasing the airflow passing through the high pressure resistance of the CRAH heat exchangers and filters and associated fan power usage. A further advantage of the proposed induced CRAH BP is the elimination of leakage as a result of reversing the room-plenum pressure difference. However, in order to keep the enclosed-aisle temperature below acceptable limits (typically <= 27 degrees C), the chiller needs to operate at a lower, less efficient temperature. This paper presents the experimental verification of a flow network model (FNM) in a data center test cell demonstrating the proposed induced CRAH BP concept. Exercise of the verified FNM in conjunction with a thermodynamic model of the cooling infrastructure (TDM) confirms that there is an optimum BP fraction that minimizes the combined chiller and CRAH fan power consumption.