Energy consumption and thermal management have become key challenges in the design of large-scale air-cooled data centers, where perforated tiles are used together with cold and hot aisles to improve thermal management. Although building energy simulation can be used to estimate annual energy consumption of any building, its application in data centers has been very limited in open literature. In this paper, EnergyPlus was utilized to study selected important parameters about perforated tiles, which potentially affect the energy consumption and thermal management of a data center. The data center model has 1120 servers distributed in four rows of rack. The data center with various boundary conditions was investigated under a typical U.S. climate — hot and humid, in Miami, Florida. The key parameters about the temperature and the volumetric flow rate of the supply side have been extensively investigated. A multi-zone approach that resolves the hot and cold aisles was used to simulate the data center. Annual overall energy consumption were compared and analyzed. The simulation results show that energy consumption of the data center is significantly affected by the supply temperature and the system fan supply air flow rate under different conditions. In addition, an optimal supply temperature of 11.8°C, and air flow rate of 2.5 m3/s were found to be the most preferred selection for the data center model investigated.

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