Proposal for standard compact server model for transient data center simulations

Zachary M. Pardey, Dustin W. Demetriou, Hamza Salih Erden, James W. VanGilder, H. Ezzat Khalifa, Roger R. Schmidt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

32 Scopus citations


Accurate prediction of data center temperatures and airflow following a transient event, such as the loss of cooling or variation in server load, requires that all sources of thermal mass in the data center be modeled with sufficient accuracy. One of the most important and simultaneously difficult-to-model types of thermal mass in the data center is that of the servers that populate the facility. Although compact models of servers for transient applications have recently been proposed and much experimental measurement of servers undertaken, no one model or technique for estimating required server properties has emerged as the de facto standard for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) users and vendors. This paper, a collaborative effort by industry and university researchers active in the subject field, reviews the progress in transient server modeling to date and recommends a single, standard compact server model to be adopted by the data center community. Techniques for determining the transient server properties thermal capacitance and thermal effectiveness from detailed measurements as well as simple correlations with server mass and size are discussed. Example server properties are provided based on measurements from two independent laboratories. Finally, the sensitivity of server exhaust temperature predictions to uncertainties in server properties is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASHRAE Transactions
PublisherAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781936504961
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2015Jan 28 2015

Publication series

NameASHRAE Transactions
ISSN (Print)0001-2505


Other2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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