Transient & steady-state thermodynamic modeling of modular data centers
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The data center industry currently focuses on initiatives to reduce its enormous energy consumption and minimize its adverse environmental impact. Modular data centers provide considerable operational flexibility in that they are mobile, and are manufactured using standard containers. This thesis aims at developing steady-state energy and exergy destruction models for modular data centers using four different cooling approaches: direct expansion cooling, direct and indirect evaporative cooling, and free air cooling. Furthermore, transient thermal response of these data centers to dynamic loads, such as varying server load through change in user requirement over the cloud, and/or to changes in outside weather conditions has been studied. The effect of server thermal mass has also been accounted for in developing the transient regime. The change in performance of the data center is reported through changes in the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric, and through change in the exergy destruction in the individual hot and cold aisles. The core simulation software used for this work is EnergyPlus, an open source software from the U.S. Department of Energy. Moreover, EnergyPlus is used as the simulation engine within the in-house developed software package Data Center EnergyPlus (DCE+).