Airflow Dynamics of a Data Center Equipment Yard
7X24 Exchange Magazine, Spring Edition, 2016
Datacenter equipment yards are getting crowded day-by-day. These yards host several air-cooled equipment such as air cooled chillers, backup generators, cooling towers, etc. Due to a shortage of yard space these equipment are placed close to each other. Additionally, a screen wall is placed surrounding the yard for security and aesthetic reasons. The performance of the air cooled equipment can degrade due to the restricted supply of the ambient air which can cause recirculation of the hot discharge plumes from one equipment back into the air intakes of other equipment. Several factors including the wind speed, wind direction, spacing between the equipment, distance from the building, and the height of the building wall and screen wall can affect the dispersion and recirculation discharge plumes in the equipment yard. This article with the help of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations evaluates the impact of wind speed, spacing between the chillers, and the distance of chillers from the adjacent building on the cooling performance of air-cooled chillers. The extent of hot discharge plume recirculation into the air intakes and its effect on the chiller performance is estimated in terms of the rise in the average intake air temperatures.