Development and experimental validation of a thermo-hydraulic model for data centers

Dustin W. Demetriou, H. Ezzat Khalifa, Madhusudan Iyengar, Roger R. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Most data center design analyses focus on design point operation, which, in reality, is rarely realized due to the reliability needs and the constantly changing operating states of data centers. The objective of this work is to develop and experimentally validate a model that will allow data center operators and designers the ability to evaluate the energy impact of various data center loop configurations and operating strategies. The modeling methodology couples a thermodynamic model of the cooling equipment and a hydraulic pipe network for hydraulic characterization. Inherent in this model is the ability to capture off-design operating conditions of the data center cooling infrastructure caused by changes in ambient conditions and fluctuations in required IT load. The thermo-hydraulic model is validated based on an existing IT data center and chiller plant located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The model is used to study the data center under several climatic and operating conditions-namely, winter and summer. The resulting performance in terms of the ratio of the total facility power to the IT power usage effectiveness was found to be 1.57 and 1.73, respectively, for the two climatic and operating modes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-555
Number of pages16
JournalHVAC and R Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction


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