Impact of connecting different types of energy simulation models for data center cooling and waste heat re-utilization
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Data centers are the facilities that house information technology (IT) equipment used for our daily digital activities. They are considered as one of the largest energy consumers and also the fastest growing industries in the world. Since data centers consume a significantly large amount of electricity, which results in a large amount of heat that must be dealt with, data center cooling has been a very important topic. Due to such a large-scale system that a data center may require, it is critical to start with meticulously investigating cooling strategies for the data center before it begins to be constructed. The main purpose of this study is to develop energy simulation models that can be used to estimate overall data center efficiency for the location of interest. This large-scale modeling can be accomplished by developing several component-level models, which may be built in different modeling tools and interact with each other. This thesis considers four cooling scenarios of a 400 kW data center, and they are as follows: (a) an air cooled data center with a rotary regenerative heat exchanger and DX cooling system, (b) a hybrid cooled data center with an air cooled chiller and DX cooling system, (c) a hybrid cooled data center utilizing warm water through a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger and DX cooling system, (d) a hybrid cooled data center that uses rear door heat exchangers and a water cooled chiller. As significant streams of waste heat are created from most data centers, this study also considers currently available or developmental low-grade waste heat re-use techniques including domestic heating, water pre-heating, and direct power generation from thermoelectric generators. Each component used in these scenarios is separately modeled in several modeling tools, and the component-level models will eventually be linked to run annual energy simulation for selected climate.