Aggregation of small networking hardware has led to an ever increasing power density in data centres. The energy consumption of IT systems is continuing to rise substantially owing to the demands of electronic information and storage requirements. Energy consumption of data centres can be severely and unnecessarily high due to inadequate localised cooling and densely packed rack layouts. However, as heat dissipation in data centres rises by orders of magnitude, inefficiencies such as air recirculation causing hot spots, leading to flow short-circuiting will have a significant impact on the thermal manageability and energy efficiency of the cooling infrastructure. Therefore, the thermal management of high-powered electronic components is a significant challenge for cooling of data centres. In this project, an operational data centre has been studied. Field measurements of temperature have been performed. Numerical analysis of flow and temperature fields is conducted in order to evaluate the thermal behaviour of the data centre. A number of undesirable hot spots have been identified. To rectify the problem, a few practical design solutions to improve the cooling effectiveness have been proposed and examined to ensure a reduced air-conditioning power requirement. Therefore, a better understanding of the cooling issues and the respective proposed solutions can lead to an improved design for future data centres.

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