A parametric numerical study of the airflow and thermal performance in a real data center for improving sustainability

Diogo Macedo, Radu Godina, Pedro Dinis Gaspar, Pedro Dinho da Silva, Miguel Trigueiros Covas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, reducing energy consumption has been relentlessly pursued by researchers and policy makers with the purpose of achieving a more sustainable future. The demand for data storage in data centers has been steadily increasing, leading to an increase in size and therefore to consume more energy. Consequently, the reduction of the energy consumption of data center rooms is required and it is with this perspective that this paper is proposed. By using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), it is possible to model a three-dimensional model of the heat transfer and air flow in data centers, which allows forecasting the air speed and temperature range under diverse conditions of operation. In this paper, a CFD study of the thermal performance and airflow in a real data center processing room with 208 racks under different thermal loads and airflow velocities is proposed. The physical-mathematical model relies on the equations of mass, momentum and energy conservation. The fluid in this study is air and it is modeled as an ideal gas with constant properties. The model of the effect of turbulence is made by employing a k-ε standard model. The results indicate that it is possible to reduce the thermal load of the server racks by improving the thermal performance and airflow of the data center room, without affecting the correct operation of the server racks located in the sensible regions of the room.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3850
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2019


  • Air flow and thermal energy management
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Computer room air conditioning
  • Data center
  • Energetic sustainability
  • Information and communication technologies


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