The rapid growth in the number of data centers combined with the high density heat dissipation of computer and telecommunications equipment has made energy efficient thermal management of data centers a key research area. Localized hybrid air-water cooling is one approach to more effectively control the cooling when there is wide variation in the amount of dissipation in neighboring racks while the traditional air cooling approach requires over-provisioning. In a closed, hybrid air-water cooled server cabinet, the generated heat is removed by a self-contained system that does not interact with the room level air cooling system.
Here, a hybrid-cooled enclosed cabinet and all it’s the internal components were characterized experimentally in steady-state mode (experimentally determined heat-exchanger effectiveness and IT characterization). A comprehensive numerical model of the cabinet was developed and validated using the experimental data. The computational model employs full numerical modeling of the cabinet geometry and compact models to represent the servers and the air/water heat-exchanger. The compact models were developed based on experimental flow and thermal characterization of the internal components. The cabinet level model has been used to simulate a number of operating scenarios relevant to data center applications such as the effect of air leakage within the cabinet. The effect of the air side and the water side failure of cooling system on the IT performance were investigated experimentally. The time takes that the first IT exceeds the standard ranges for the failure scenarios were compared.