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An analysis of the effects of ceiling height on air distribution in Data Centers

ASHRAE Transactions Volume 112 Part 1. Presented in the 2006 ASHRAE Winter Meeting, 2006


Vali, S. et. al. and Kishor Khankari


In this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models are used to evaluate how ceiling height affects the overall performance of the air distribution system within a data center environment. First, an underfloor air delivery system is examined while keeping all operational parameters constant and varying only the clear space height. Then, the performance of the same system is evaluated with a dropped ceiling while varying the clear space height. Finally, an overhead air distribution system is considered, keeping all operational parameters constant while varying only the clear space height. The performance of each system is evaluated using dimensionless parameters developed previously by others. These indices, supply heat index (SHI) and return heat index (RHI), when used to examine the temperatures at the inlets to the equipment inside the cabinets and at the air handler or computer room air-conditioning unit (CRAC) inlets, provide a measure of how much recirculation and bypass occur within the data space.

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    About the author

    Dr. Kishor Khankari

    ASHRAE Fellow, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer

    Dr Kishor Khankari is the founder of AnSight LLC. As a specialist in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), his passion for solving engineering problems and providing sound scientific solutions has led to innovations and optimized designs in the industry.

    A noted expert in his field, he has a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and has published in several technical journals and trade magazines. As a well sought-after speaker Dr. Khankari makes regular presentations in various technical conferences and professional meetings worldwide.

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