- Airflow Management Using Active Air Dampers in Presence of a Dynamic Workload in Data Centers
- The dynamic nature of today’s data centers requires active monitoring and holistic management of all aspects of the facility, from the applications to the air conditioning. The most significant aspect of implementing a dynamic data center is the requirement to actively monitor and manage the infrastructure assets. It is vital to ensure information technology (IT) equipment has access to sufficient air (provisioned) at a proper temperature to assure their optimal and continuous operation. Hot air recirculation, elevated fan speed, and hot spots are known consequences of an under-provisioned cold aisle. On the other hand, over-provisioning a cold aisle can lead to a significant energy loss due to cooling air bypass. In addition, the number of active servers in an aisle and their workload levels may be varied by load balancers due to short or long-term IT load changes. This demonstrates the need for an active airflow management scheme that is able to respond to changes in airflow demand in different aisles of a data center. In this study, remotely controllable air dampers are implemented to regulate airflow delivery to a cold aisle containment (CAC) during workload changes in a data center. The energy saving opportunities are investigated and practical considerations are discussed.
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