The information below was gathered from the 2018 Simcenter Conference - Americas that took place October 15-17 in Detroit, Michigan.
Author: Jon Halestrap, Business Development Director
Dr. Andy Young, Head of Fluid and Thermal Engineering
In a modern data center, for every kilowatt of computing power that is deployed, there are potentially several hundred further watts of power required to support it. The majority of this energy is utilized in moving coolants around the data center. It is an energy intensive process that also loses a lot of energy along the way. One of the major advantages of liquid cooling is that liquids are generally manageable; liquids fill containers and move around them in a much more controllable and predictable fashion which means you don’t have to put as much energy into moving them around as you would have to for air. In order to address the challenges of the data center market, we looked at how we could adapt our current generation technology for this market. This leads us to investigate design changes such as 1U form factor, horizontal deployment, and backward compatibility for rack designs where immersive liquid cooling technology can have the most benefit. This posed significant design challenges for our engineering team. All these challenges we met and were overcome using CFD techniques. This presentation talks about the specific challenges we had to overcome to get to our goal. Not least of which was the absolute requirement to balance all the other components that make up a data center rack. FloMASTER was used to balance each component of the rack, both individually and as a whole system. By employing the concept of the “digital twin” we were above to examine multiple variables across a wider range of design scenarios and achieve optimal system and component design. This strategy was fully supported by the use of Mentor’s 1D CFD software, FloMASTER. We were able to use FloMASTER to determine the pressure drop in the complete system for a range of potential flow rates also called a system curve. We used the design of experiments functionality to create the design space and the simulations were automatically run. FloMASTER enabled us digitally calculate, tune and balance flow so that the correct amount of fluid would be delivered to each major heat source without complex over-engineering.