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Dynamic thermal management of air cooled data centers

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3 Author(s)
C. B. Bash ; Hewlett-Packard Labs., Palo Alto, CA, USA ; C. D. Patel ; R. K. Sharma

Increases in server power dissipation time placed significant pressure on traditional data center thermal management systems. Traditional systems utilize computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units to pressurize a raised floor plenum with cool air that is passed to equipment racks via ventilation tiles distributed throughout the raised floor. Temperature is typically controlled at the hot air return of the CRAC units away from the equipment racks. Due primarily to a lack of distributed environmental sensing, these CRAC systems are often operated conservatively resulting in reduced computational density and added operational expense. This paper introduces a data center environmental control system that utilizes a distributed sensor network to manipulate conventional CRAC units within an air-cooled environment. The sensor network is attached to standard racks and provides a direct measurement of the environment in close proximity to the computational resources. A calibration routine is used to characterize the response of each sensor in the network to individual CRAC actuators. A cascaded control algorithm is used to evaluate the data from the sensor network and manipulate supply air temperature and flow rate from individual CRACs to ensure thermal management while reducing operational expense. The combined controller and sensor network has been deployed in a production data center environment. Results from the algorithm will be presented that demonstrate the performance of the system and evaluate the energy savings compared with conventional data center environmental control architecture

Published in:

Thermal and Thermomechanical Proceedings 10th Intersociety Conference on Phenomena in Electronics Systems, 2006. ITHERM 2006.

Date of Conference:

May 30 2006-June 2 2006