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DE-05-11-2 - Rack Cooling Effectiveness in Data Centers and Telecom Central Offices: The Rack Cooling Index (RCI)

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Magnus K. Herrlin, PhD
ASHRAE / 2005

Managing today's dense equipment environments is a challenge; over-temperatures may not only harm expensive electronic equipment but also interrupt critical and/or revenue- generating services. This paper proposes a methodology and an index for analyzing the rack cooling effectiveness in data centers, telecom central offices, and other mission critical facilities.

Although computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling allows visualization of temperatures throughout equipment rooms, to sort out the cooling effectiveness of different design options can be challenging. By using the same CFD technology, however, the rack intake temperatures can be established. They provide a "complete" picture of the thermal environment for air-cooled equipment. Still, there is no yardstick for interpreting the modeled (or measured) temperatures. This paper proposes a dimensionless index as the vehicle for such a common standard.

The Rack Cooling Index (RCI) is designed to be a measure of how effectively equipment racks are cooled and maintained within industry thermal guidelines and standards. By testing the methodology and the index on a typical data center environment with two contrasting cooling systems, it is shown that the index indeed provides a meaningful measure of rack cooling effectiveness. The index has the capacity to help evaluate the equipment room health for managing existing environments or designing new environments.

Citation: ASHRAE Trans. vol. 111, pt. 2, paper no. DE-05-11-2, p. 725-731



Product Code(s): D-26979



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