Development of an Experimentally-Validated Compact Model of a Server Rack
Nelson, Graham Martin
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A simplified computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer (CFD-HT) model of an electronics enclosure was developed. The compact model was based on a server simulator, which dissipates a variable amount of heat at an adjustable air flow rate. Even though a server simulator does not accurately represent the geometry of an actual electronics enclosure, the modeling of such a unit deals with many of the same issues as the modeling of actual enclosures. Even at the server simulator level, a disparity in length scales prevents detailed modeling of intricate components most notably grilles, fins, and fans. Therefore, a compact model for each of these components was developed. Fan performance curves were determined experimentally for varying fan rotational speeds. In addition, component pressure drop characteristics were found experimentally for grilles and fin banks, and these empirical relationships were applied to the model as well. To determine the validity of the simplifications employed in the model, experimental outlet temperature and velocity measurements were taken to compare to those provided by the CFD-HT simulations.