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Navier-Stokes Simulation of Airconditioning Facility of a Large Modem Computer RoomNASA recently assembled one of the world's fastest operational supercomputers to meet the agency's new high performance computing needs. This large-scale system, named Columbia, consists of 20 interconnected SGI Altix 512-processor systems, for a total of 10,240 Intel Itanium-2 processors. High-fidelity CFD simulations were performed for the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) computer room at Ames Research Center. The purpose of the simulations was to assess the adequacy of the existing air handling and conditioning system and make recommendations for changes in the design of the system if needed. The simulations were performed with NASA's OVERFLOW-2 CFD code which utilizes overset structured grids. A new set of boundary conditions were developed and added to the flow solver for modeling the roomls air-conditioning and proper cooling of the equipment. Boundary condition parameters for the flow solver are based on cooler CFM (flow rate) ratings and some reasonable assumptions of flow and heat transfer data for the floor and central processing units (CPU) . The geometry modeling from blue prints and grid generation were handled by the NASA Ames software package Chimera Grid Tools (CGT). This geometric model was developed as a CGT-scripted template, which can be easily modified to accommodate any changes in shape and size of the room, locations and dimensions of the CPU racks, disk racks, coolers, power distribution units, and mass-storage system. The compute nodes are grouped in pairs of racks with an aisle in the middle. High-speed connection cables connect the racks with overhead cable trays. The cool air from the cooling units is pumped into the computer room from a sub-floor through perforated floor tiles. The CPU cooling fans draw cool air from the floor tiles, which run along the outside length of each rack, and eject warm air into the center isle between the racks. This warm air is eventually drawn into the cooling units located near the walls of the room. One major concern is that the hot air ejected to the middle isle might recirculate back into the cool rack side and cause thermal short-cycling. The simulations analyzed and addressed the following important elements of the computer room: 1) High-temperature build-up in certain regions of the room; 2) Areas of low air circulation in the room; 3) Potential short-cycling of the computer rack cooling system; 4) Effectiveness of the perforated cooling floor tiles; 5) Effect of changes in various aspects of the cooling units. Detailed flow visualization is performed to show temperature distribution, air-flow streamlines and velocities in the computer room.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Computer Programming And Software
Meeting Information
Meeting: ASME Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
Location: Houston, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: June 19, 2005
End Date: June 23, 2005
Sponsors: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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